Senate Democrats Seek Agreement On Public Plan AlternativeThe Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones: "Senate Democrats appear ... closer to reaching agreement on an alternative to a government-run health-insurance plan in health-care overhaul legislation, even as they dealt with disagreement within their party on abortion. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, (D., Mich.) told reporters Monday that Democrats are 'rapidly coming to a conclusion' on language within the bill, including a public-plan alternative."
As currently drafted, the health bill "contains a proposed public plan, administered by HHS, that states could choose not to carry. Changing the face of the public plan would surely disappoint some liberals, who have argued that they have already conceded too many changes to the version ... they originally sought" (Yoest, 12/7).
Politico: "The group of 10 Democrats working to break an impasse on the government insurance option are considering changes to other parts of the bill, including creating a Medicare buy-in, according to multiple officials familiar with the talks. The Medicare buy-in could allay the concerns of progressives, who are being pressured to abandon the public option." The buy-in approach would "allow people younger than 65 to purchase coverage in the popular government program for the elderly." Democrats have long sought this change, "In short, the negotiations over the public option aren't just about the public option, officials said Monday. ... If a deal is struck, it would likely include several different pieces" (Budoff Brown, 12/7). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.