October 26th, 2009
02:04 PM ET
4 years ago

Reid to announce public option decision

It's unclear whether Reid has the 60 votes necessary to move forward with his plan.
It's unclear whether Reid has the 60 votes necessary to move forward with his plan.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will announce Monday his plans for the Senate health care bill on Monday afternoon, and multiple Democratic sources tell CNN he will discuss his decision to move forward with a bill that includes a public option, but with a provision allowing states to opt out.

CNN first reported Sunday that Reid was poised to finalize a Senate health care bill as soon as Monday and send it to the Congressional Budget Office so it could begin to determine the bill's cost.

Reid hopes his proposal will appeal to liberal senators who have been insisting on a public option as well as to conservatives who are wary of a government-run plan but could persuaded to support one if states have the authority to opt out.

Several Democratic sources tell CNN that Reid does not yet have firm commitments from 60 senators for this idea, which he would likely need even for a vote to begin Senate debate.

For that reason, multiple Senate Democratic sources concede this strategy is risky. But a Reid aide told CNN Sunday that the Senate Majority Leader is cautiously optimistic, based on a series of conversations with Democratic senators, that he will ultimately find the votes.

An administration official went so far as calling Reid's move "dangerous," but quickly followed by saying Reid knows his caucus better than anyone, and will therefore have the support of the White House.


Filed under: Harry Reid • Health care
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Sam in Albuquerque

    It's not the single-payer system that we need and deserve, but it's a step on the right direction. I just hope I don't live in one of those states that decide to opt-out. Let's get this thing done!!!

    October 26, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Wow, this poor attempt at compromise looks more like political desperation than a responsible attempt to address health care issues. Thank goodness this will never pass. It doesn't make sense from any perspective outside of the pure politics it represents.

    October 26, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. AK

    Lets get the public option in there and get it down folks!!!

    October 26, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. joe

    president obama please support public option plan and not the trigerplan dont let a mandate down because the next time we will vote you out

    October 26, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Sam in Albuquerque

    It's a fact, the majority of Americans want Congress to break the strangle-hold that the health insurance industry has on our health and our lives. At least give us a Public Option!

    October 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Yes we can

    Hello Moderate and Blue dogs Demo, This is your chance to do some good for American people so come out from the Insurance co. pockets and prove your self you can not be bought by any interest group. If you don.t support this, than be prepared to be out in the next election...............Vote Yes and prove Gopers they are wrong not to support this.

    October 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. jsmith

    Say Goodby Harry, be ready to go home next Nov. I hope the job market is better by then.

    October 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. Houston Mom

    We either implement a public option and move forward as a society or we stagnate and regress into a third world nation. What people don't realize is that as long as there are immediate profits for Republicans and their constituents (corporations) they don't care if we eventually regress into a third world nation.....they'll just move their operations somewhere else...as they are already doing now.

    Not once during this entire recession have I seen a prominent Republican stand up and demand that American corporations stop outsourcing jobs overseas. Not one. One of the single worst offenders for sending jobs overseas?? UnitedHealth. Don't you feel confident with all of your medical records and pharmacy approvals being handled by someone in India? They are the worst of the worst.

    October 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. RCasson

    Bravo Mr. Reid. Thanks for finally showing the strength we needed to see. If you can pull this off, say hello to re-election my friend!!

    October 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. Dave

    These guys are doing a great job of getting themselves booted out in their next election.

    October 26, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Biased

    An opt out public option is the biggest cop-out of all. This is a pitiful action just to get anything passed. And what happens to your own democrats who live in red states who might opt out? I guess getting your own little piece of history is more important than anything or anyone else who is desperate for real reform.

    October 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. RH

    This "opt out" plan is cowardly and defeatist, essentially amounting to federal deferral of a national issue to state governments. With this, the insurance companies will be left to lobby the relatively cloistered state legislatures and business as usual can continue. It looks like it'll be more of the same in America for years to come. Who's surprised?

    October 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. dave

    So everyone will pay for the public option but your state might prevent you from using it? Sounds like congress is afraid to make a decision and is trying to push it off onto the states. That is weak.

    October 26, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. DJ

    Sounds like the perfect solution. Stand-up for the public option and give the people something for a change instead of wall street and big $ lobbies.

    October 26, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. phoenix86

    Allow states to opt out AND ensure that those residents don't have to pay any taxes associated with the massive subsidies or the debt service.

    October 26, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Ralph Kramden

    That's great I am glad that Barack is pushing this dicision to the states. This will allow Barack and the rest of us dems to come out looking good. We won't have to make that unpopular decission by pushing it onto the states to do it; plus it allows Barack to take credit for pushing this important reform through to the finish line. Thank goodness we have Barack. His vision and leadership is a breath of fresh air which out country needs so badly.

    October 26, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. P.Y. Los Angeles

    so,the only question left is:
    If the state opt out of this so called "health bill" will the people of the state still need to pay for it?
    And if the answer is Yes,what is the point of OPT IN or OPT OUT ?

    October 26, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Peoples Voice

    Public option, Mr Reid, or find a new job. It really is that simple.

    October 26, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Jon

    ridiculous. this entire "plan" is garbage and they know it.

    October 26, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. nell jenkins

    How about all those people so concerned about governementally administered plans opt out of their government pension plans and just go pass-book savings plans, IRA's 401-K's, or oh, wait, those conservative-based plans flopped miserably didn't they? The best savings buy is still good ole savings bonds!

    October 26, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Clement

    Republicans will simply vote against.

    October 26, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. Ok, now

    Republican States can opt-out and be happy

    October 26, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Retired US Army Officer-Kansas

    After taking a look at 1.) the cost of insurance from a State Plan aspect, and 2.) the billing of medical facilities, and 3.) the actual pay out by insurance companies, it is going to take more than a simple public option to 1.) provide medical coverage for all Americans and 2.) provide affordable medical coverage for all Americans. Personnally I could not afford the $1000.00/month State plan for retirees in the State of Kansas while fully employed, so how would a retiree be expected to do so?

    October 26, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Dan

    For many it will be "support public option" against "stop being a public representative," so we will see how it plays out with moderates.....

    October 26, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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