NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - It is one of the touchiest issues in the health care debate: Would a government-run health plan upend the employer-based health insurance system used by 160 million Americans?
Senate Democrats behind a key proposal released Thursday say the answer is no.
Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Chris Dodd, D-Conn., say their plan would preserve employer-sponsored insurance coverage and create an affordable public option for those who need it.
"The ... bill virtually eliminates the dropping of currently covered employees from employer-sponsored health plans," Kennedy and Dodd said in a letter to members of the Health Committee, one of two Senate groups working on health reform.
The bill includes a "pay or play" provision that would require employers to provide adequate coverage for their workers or subsidize a system that will.