Senate healthcare bill: Opt-out is in, Snowe is not

October 26, 2009

The opt-out is in.

USA HEALTHCARE/REIDThe Senate healthcare reform legislation will include a form of public option that would allow states to opt out of participating in a government-run insurance plan if they choose.

And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says his Democrats will support it.

“While the public option is not a silver bullet, I believe it’s an important way to ensure competition and to level the playing field for patients with the insurance industry,” Reid said.

But by including the opt-out, the Democrats lost the lone Republican senator to vote for healthcare legislation — Senator Olympia Snowe from Maine — who opted out because of the opt-out.

Snowe, who favored a trigger (those of you following the debate know what that means), says she’s “deeply disappointed” with Reid’s decision.

And the responses are rolling in:

Republican Senator Judd Gregg says: “Assuming that the states will opt-out of a federally subsidized government-run plan is like assuming your children will opt-out of their allowance.”

America’s Health Insurance Plans says a government-run plan would “underpay doctors and hospitals” rather than produce real reforms that bring down costs and improve quality.

President Barack Obama, in Florida at the moment, was pleased that the Senate decided to include a public option, according to his spokesman Robert Gibbs.

So let’s throw the question out to you: Is the public option opt-out a good idea or not?

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Reid speaking about healthcare reform)

10 comments

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Snowe isn’t really a moderate. She’s just been deceiving the voters of Maine. She’s really a Limbaugh/Palin Republican who pretends otherwise to get reelected.

Posted by disgusted | Report as abusive

I want some of that free healthcare too.

Posted by bobwhite | Report as abusive

Harry Reid has some praying to do,it is like a minefield in afghanistan for him, everything he is involved with could blow up in his face.After the mid term elections he could be out of a job. But at least his son could get him fixed up as a lobbyist,and there are various opening because the democrats turned several into Czars.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

I want some free healthcare too, and some FREE MONEY!!!

Posted by oldguy | Report as abusive

I believe all Americans are entitled to receive Medicare, so I’m pleased a government option will be included in the bill.

Hopefully it’s only the beginning of real healthcare reform in this country.

Posted by anne hart | Report as abusive

Public Option in? Harry Reid out! A Public Option will be the beginning of the end for Private Insurance!

Posted by CarrieW | Report as abusive

Is private insurance the only way to finance health care in the USA or anywhere else? What are the other options? And the pros and cons?

Posted by JTom | Report as abusive

When all of the baby boomers land in SS medicare Mreicade free pills it wont matter who pays the bills as the cost will consume the USA, all though it would be good if the pres stayed in DC for at least a full day instead of running all over the US and world filling his ego.

Posted by erheault | Report as abusive

Of course Private insurance is not the only way to finance health care ask ANYONE who has lived in or visted at length Europe, Canada, etc.
Whomever you are, support the national healthcare idea with a public option.
The “boo” policy of calling it “socialistic” is so 20th century. Who cares if it is partially a government program? F.D.R. had to get government more involved to fix things also, and the only thing more costly than health care is a lack of it. And personally I’d prefer no OPT OUT Option – I am from Texas and trust me I know / we know the one Governor idiotic enough to refuse federal money (has done so before) is Rick Perry – the man I most want to see defeated next election. Loyal Texan and sane person who is not afraid of what works fine everywhere else, dg

Posted by David Guerrero | Report as abusive

I watched in dismay for months as inlaws and friends suffered and eventually died while waitin for tests and treatments that would have begun in days in America. Public option is NOT the answer. Government cannot run this system. The pay scake abd such DOES lead to rationing of care. This is not from the “greed of the government” as often cited. It is from the lack of doctors. With pay limited to government levels, the best and the brightest do not have a desire to be doctors. We had about 40 doctors in our city. Population was slightly over 100,000.

Posted by Former Canadian | Report as abusive