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article imageCentrist Democrats not behind Reid and Pelosi on public option

By Michael Krebs     Oct 28, 2009 in Politics
In the wake of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's assertion that Democrats unite behind the public option - and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's confidence that she has the votes - Democratic legislators are vocal in their opposition.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believe that they will have a public option in the emerging health care reform legislation. The only problem is many of their Democratic colleagues in both chambers do not want the public option.
Centrist Democrats rejected Reid's appeal for unity over the public option, and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman vowed to filibuster the bill along with Republicans.
Reid needs full Democratic support in order to break Republican filibusters.
"We are a long way from reaching conclusion," said Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad.
Both chambers of Congress are struggling over the question of government-sponsored and managed insurance. In fact, the issue has been so divisive in the House that Nancy Pelosi tried to change the verbiage from "public option" to "consumer option."
President Barack Obama has expressed his support for a public option in the health care bill, though it remains to be seen if moderate Democrats will support the measure.
More about Reid, Pelosi, Democrats, Health care, Insurance
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