The health care debate drones on and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced their will be a provision added to the reform bill that allows for a public option that states can opt out of.
Though Reid seemed opposed to the idea of a government-run option just two weeks ago, some see this as a move to entice those Democrats who said they would oppose any bill without a public option. From the Washington Post:
Doubts remain about whether he has the votes to guarantee passage, but he said he concluded that in the interest of bringing the strongest possible bill to the Senate floor next month, adding a public option was a risk worth taking.
"We've spent countless hours over the last few days in consultation with senators who've shown a genuine desire to reform the health-care system," Reid said. "And I believe there's a strong consensus to move forward in this direction."
Engineered by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) as a compromise between moderates who want a smaller government role and liberals who prefer a single-payer system, the opt-out proposal is so new to the reform debate that it was never put to a vote during weeks of deliberations by two Senate committees.
Olympia Snowe, the one Republican who was down for the reform bill, is no longer down since the public option has been introduced and said Monday she was "deeply disappointed." Obama was also reluctant to chime in after losing Snowe, but Robert Gibbs expressed, diplomatically, that the president was pleased with this development.