Rockefeller Endorses ‘Opt-Out’ Public Plan

October 26, 2009 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

He’s decidedly anti-trigger. And he’s opposed to health care co-ops. But Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s health subpanel, likes what he sees in the Democrats’ plan to bring an opt-out public option to the Senate floor. In a just-released statement, he says he’s “gratified” that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) chose to include the provision in the bill he welded together from elements of the Senate Finance and HELP committee proposals.

An opt-out clause would protect the public option, and would help secure the necessary votes to pass health care reform, without compromising on the type of coverage or level of affordability.  This will still save money and provide a real public option for people, and I am glad Leader Reid is moving forward with this strong health care reform agenda.

As Rockefeller himself has pointed out, the burden is now on opponents of the public option to rally the 60 votes needed to strip it out. It’s a good time to be watching TWI’s Senate Public Option Scoreboard.