Mystery Surrounds Possibilities For Public Option Compromise In Senate Health Bill
Controversy regarding the public option provision in the Senate's health bill remains fierce, leading many to wonder what a compromise would look like, The Christian Science Monitor reports. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needs to win a majority of centrist votes for health care reform in the Senate to get to a filibuster-proof 60 votes. "That math makes it difficult to see how the public option, as it is currently constituted, can survive." Debate over the public option could derail compromise on the reform bill. Reid will have to balance and compromise among the centrist Senators who are skeptical of such a plan and liberals who say they won't support a bill without it (Grier, 11/30).
Roll Call: "There's an air of mystery surrounding just who among Senate Democrats is going to broker a critical compromise on the public insurance option. Few besides Reid (D-Nev.) appear willing to have their name attached to whatever messy accord the Senate will have to agree to in order to get the health care reform bill off the floor, even as many are working behind the scenes to find the legislative sweet spot. ... Reid earlier this month named a trio of Senators - Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) - who were working on a deal, but not all three appeared pleased with being identified" (Pierce, 12/1).
USA Today, in the meantime, examines the Senate bill and just what treatment it gives to the public option and compares it to the House version of the health care reform bill (11/30).