Reid tries to resurrect public option

Chris Frates

Ahead of next week’s White House health reform summit, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has signed on to a plan to try to resurrect the public insurance option in the Senate and signaled a willingness to use a 51-vote majority if needed to get it through.

Reid’s announcement came as the White House went ahead with plans to craft its own health reform proposal ahead of the summit, a plan that could pass with 51 votes in the Senate, bypassing the threat of a Republican filibuster, according to Democratic officials.

But the moves by Reid and President Barack Obama toward using the procedural maneuver called reconciliation threatened to set off a revolt among Senate moderates, many of whom have expressed serious reservations or outright resistance to the idea….

…Reid stopped short of saying he was planning to use reconciliation in the Senate to pass health reform — even though that is what the White House is willing to do. But his spokesman, Rodell Mollineau, said, “If a decision is made to use reconciliation to advance health care, Sen. Reid will work with the White House, House and members of his caucus in an effort to craft a public option that can overcome procedural obstacles and secure enough votes.”…

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