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article imageReport: Democratic Senate bill will not have a public option

By Patrick McMahon     Sep 7, 2009 in Politics
The Gang of Six, a group of Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, apparently has been working on their own piece of healthcare legislation, which according to reports will not have a public option.
For the Democratic Party, the majority of elected officials have expressed public support and insist on a public option, or government run version, of healthcare reform. Out of the several bills in Congress, only one group was working in a bipartisan manner to craft legislation.
The Senate Finance Committee, led by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) has been meeting on and off over the past few weeks trying to create a bill that can attract some Republican support. Other members of the "Gang of Six" include Kent Conrad (D-ND), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Charles Grassley (R-IA), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
In place of the public option, the bill will call for the creation of nonprofit healthcare cooperatives. The bill also will cost less than $900 billion over the next ten years, which is less than many other Democratic options out there. Sources say the bill will contain a new tax on high end insurance policies, as a way to help pay for the bill.
On Wednesday, President Obama is planning a speech to a joint session of Congress to talk about healthcare reform. Aides say he favors a public option, but that legislation does not necessarily have that provision for him to sign it.
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