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Public Option Still Dead... At Least For Now

March 25, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Some liberals have been pushing Democrats to include a public option in the reconciliation bill for health care (H.R.4872). The party's response: a public option can't be included because doing so would complicate things by forcing the House to re-vote on the updated version of the bill. So what's going to happen now that the House has to re-vote on the bill anyway?

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How health care reform got its groove back

February 23, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Wondering how we got from Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA] being elected in Massachusetts to kill health care reform to the health care bill, and maybe even the public option, being back on the table with a strong feeling of momentum behind it?

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The Final Olive Branch

February 22, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The big news with the plan released today by the White House isn't really about its contents, it's about its format. The White House could have put out a full bill, written in legalese and numbering hundreds of pages, and then tried to push it through Congress. Instead, the plan seems to be designed to accommodate new ideas.

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Reid Supports Public Option Reconciliation Plan

February 19, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Has the final shoe dropped in the recent boomlet of enthusiasm for the public option? Greg Sargent posts a statement from the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] offering generic support for passing a public option through the Senate under reconciliation: If a decision is made to use reconciliation to advance health care, Senator Reid will work with the White House, the House, and members of his caucus in an effort to craft a public option that can overcome procedural obstac...

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Previewing the Health Care Summit

February 19, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

We're now just six days away from the big bipartisan, live-on-the-TV health care summit that President Obama will hold next week with leaders from Congress. Here's a quick update on where things stand.

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As of today, 18 Senators have signed a letter supporting the use of the reconciliation process to pass a public option. Now, the president's HHS secretary is implying that he could join the effort as well.

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More Liberals Push For Public Option Revival

February 18, 2010 - by Eric Naing

The public option, declared dead time and time again throughout the health care reform process, is once again showing faint signs of life. As I mentioned before, four Senate Democrats the week signed onto a letter urging their colleagues to pass the public option through the Senate under reconciliation – a process that requires 51 votes instead of the 60 now mandated by near-constant GOP filibustering. Since the letter was released, 16 Senate Democrats have signed on. The majority of these ...

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It's Alive? Liberal Democrats Push Public Option Again

February 16, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Could the public option rise from the grave? Four Democratic Senators have urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] to use the reconciliation process to revive the idea that was formerly dropped from the Senate health care bill (H.R.3590). In a letter, which you can read here, Sen. Michael Bennet [D, CO], Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY], Sen. Jeff Merkley [D, OR] and Sen. Sherrod Brown [D, OH] spell out four reasons for once again pushing the public option: [I]ts potential for b...

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Final Bill Shaping Up

January 12, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne previews the final health care bill and the concessions progressive House Democrats are getting in exchange for giving up the public option.

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A Final Possibility for a Public Option Compromise

January 8, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Igor Volsky at the Wonk Room suggests that the Senate could strengthen their provision that allows states to set up their own public options by providing start-up funds

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Clyburn Won't Hold Out for a Public Option

December 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The highly influential Majority Whip, Rep. James Clyburn [D, SC], whose job is basically to tell rank and file House Democrats how to vote, said over the weekend that he could support a health care bill that does not create a public option.

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By a vote of 60 to 39, the Senate early this morning officially approved health care legislation designed to meet President Obama’s goals of reducing health care costs, increasing choices for consumers and guaranteeing access to quality, affordable insurance for all Americans. All 60 Democrats in the Senate, plus the two Independents, voted in favor of the bill. All 39 Republicans who were present voted "no." Sen. Jim Bunning [R, KY] skipped the vote.

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At 1:25 this morning, the Senate voted to defeat a Republican filibuster of the Democrats' health care bill. The vote brings the Senate beyond the last big hurdle remaining for the bill and virtually guarantees that it will see final approval before the Senate leave town on Christmas Eve for recess.

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As recently as September 8, 2009, Sen. Joe Lieberman [I, CT] was pushing to allow people to buy into Medicare. This weekend, he said that he would vote to filibuster any health care bill that contains such a provision.

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Democrats in the Senate have negotiated a new deal to break the impasse on health care reform. It involves getting rid of the public option altogether, but, somehow, all the liberal Democrats seem to like it. It appears to have three parts:

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