Reid: No Comment On Public Option, Bill Will Be Ready ‘Soon’
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declined Tuesday afternoon to predict when negotiations on a final health care reform bill would be complete, saying only that he hopes to have legislation in hand 'soon,'" Roll Call reports. He wouldn't give other details about negotiations, including an update about the inclusion of a public insurance option.
"I have found, in the health care legislation that we have done - let's not set any deadlines. I'm going to do it just as quickly as I can, with the legislation being as quality as it can be," Reid said. "I hope to get something to [the Congressional Budget Office] soon."
"Reid, Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) - the No. 2 Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee - and senior White House officials" will meet again on Tuesday evening (Drucker, 10/20).
The Hill: "Reid's response to reporters on Tuesday suggests that the high-level meetings have so far focused on the peripheral, less controversial aspects of the bills passed by the HELP Committee in July and the Finance Committee last week" (Rushing, 10/20).
Reuters: "Momentum is growing both in the U.S. Congress and the nation for a government-run public health insurance option, although Senate Democrats still have a way to go in securing enough votes for such a measure," according to Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD, a member of the Democratic House leadership, during the Reuters Washington Summit. "I'm told, this is based on what our Senate colleagues have told us, that they have 53 to 54 votes in support of a public option in the Senate" (Heavey and Ferraro, 10/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.