Senate Bows to Calls for Public Option

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will present the Senate with a health reform bill that includes a public option, but one that allows individual states to opt-out.

News of Reid’s decision comes just two weeks after the Senate Finance Committee’s 14 to 9 vote on a bill that excludes any type of government-run insurance provider.

“We’ve spent countless hours over the last few days in consultation with senators who’ve shown a genuine desire to reform the health-care system,” says Reid. “And I believe there’s a strong consensus to move forward in this direction.”

The inclusion of a public option in the final piece of legislation that will go to President Obama’s desk is imperative in order to force insurance companies to bring down premiums and reduce overall costs. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows a clear majority, 57 percent, of Americans believe a public option is necessary.

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