Baucus: Public Insurance Option ‘Alive’ In Senate Negotiations
USA Today: During a conference call with reporters today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said the public option is "alive." Baucus, "one of a handful of senators engaged in behind-the-scenes health care negotiations, said Democratic lawmakers are continuing to debate whether to include a government-run health insurance program -- also known as the public option -- and what shape that program might take." He also told reporters that negotiators are looking at the issue and "trying to see what makes the most sense" as they work toward goal of "health care reform that passes the Senate, that gets 60 votes," according to USA Today. He did not say if any one proposal or approach is gaining momentum. The call was organized by Families USA, an organization which "supports health care legislation pending in Congress" (Fritze, 10/20).
CBS News: Baucus also told reporters that "any number of health care proposals could end up in Congress' final health care bill," including the public option. "There are various versions of public option being bandied about," Baucus said during the call. "The long and short of it is, this issue is alive." He went on to say that "Democrats in the Senate are deliberating over a number of different public option proposals, ranging from 'Medicare-light,' to an option that would put the government on an 'even playing field' with private insurers, to a government plan that states could opt in or opt out of (Condon, 10/19).