Senate healthcare bill: Opt-out is in, Snowe is not
The opt-out is in.
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?
Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Reid speaking about healthcare reform)