Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced on Monday that the health care bill he plans to bring to the Senate floor will include a government-run insurance option that allows individual states to remove themselves from the plan.
But even with that decision made, the tricky work is far from complete for Mr. Reid. As The Times’s Robert Pear and David Herszenhorn report, Senate aides say the public option plus an opt out is several votes shy of the magic number of 60. And, to complicate the issue even further, every member of the Democratic caucus may be needed to reach that total, as the 40 Republicans in the chamber seem united in their opposition to the proposal. (Even Olympia Snowe, the Republican from Maine, expressed her disappointment with it.)
Still, liberal Democrats in the Senate and progressive advocacy groups hailed Mr. Reid for deciding on an approach whose inclusion in the Senate bill seemed a long shot until fairly recently.
As Mr. Pear and Mr. Herszenhorn also note, “should Mr. Reid prevail, both houses of Congress would be poised to act on bills including a government-run plan to compete with private insurers in selling health coverage to consumers. The House is still weighing the details of its approach, but Democratic leaders have made clear they will include a government plan in their version of the bill.”
Comment: It has all the making to derail Tea Party fringe supporters. But you know only a few states would elect to opt out, and once they get a taste of the crack they'll be hooked...like education, farm, police state (homeland) security, and WIC subsidies, and the list goes on. But in the end those states that don't opt out will pay; they will surely pay.