‘Opt-Out’ It Is
No surprise here. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to announce at 3:15 EDT that the Senate health reform bill soon to hit the chamber floor will include a public plan but leave states with the option not to participate.
The move is an indication of two things: (1) That Reid hopes to rally the support of the entire Democratic caucus — at least for the procedural vote that allows the chamber to vote on the final bill. And (2) that Democrats, who’d been hoping to attract the support of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), are no longer prioritizing bipartisanship above the underlying policy — at least as it pertains to the public option. Snowe, who voted for the Democrats’ bill in the Finance Committee, has said she doesn’t support any version of the public plan outside of a “trigger.”