So Far, So Good!

October 26, 2009 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

We post below announcements from Senator Chris Dodd and Majority Leader Harry Reid about the inclusion of a public option in the merged Senate health care reform bill.  Why?  Because this is the latest news from key Senate leaders and, because this is good news for people in need of health coverage – and for taxpayers.   Maybe right will yet prevail over might.   We dare to hope.

DODD STATEMENT ON PUBLIC OPTION

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) released the following statement today after Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the health care reform legislation will include a strong public option.

 “I fought for a strong public option – in the HELP Committee and in this merger process – because it is the best way to keep costs low and insurance companies honest,” said Dodd.  “Majority Leader Reid has made a bold and right choice to endorse the HELP Committee public option, along with a provision allowing states to opt out.  At its core, health care reform is about making insurance more stable and affordable for those who have it, and available to those who don’t, while improving quality and lowering costs.  I believe that the public option is a key component to successful reform, and I will continue to lead the fight for it on the Senate floor.”

Note:  Senator Dodd led the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee earlier this summer when it approved the Affordable Health Choices Act, which included the strong public option that will be included in the final health care bill.

AND, FROM MAJORITY LEADER, SENATOR HARRY REID

“The last two weeks have been a great opportunity to work with the White House, Senators Baucus and Dodd, and members of our Caucus on this critical issue of reforming our health insurance system. We have had productive, meaningful discussions about how to craft the strongest bill that can gain the 60 votes necessary to move forward in the Senate. I feel good about progress we have made within our caucus and with the White House, and we are all optimistic about reform because of the unprecedented momentum that exists. 

I am well aware that the issue of the public option has been a source of great discussion in recent weeks.    I have always been a strong supporter of the public option.  While the public option is not a silver bullet, I believe it is an important way to ensure competition and to level the playing field for patients. 

 As we’ve gone through this process, I’ve concluded, with the support of the White House and Senators Baucus and Dodd, that the best way forward is to include a public option with an opt-out provision for states.   Under this concept, states will be able to determine whether the public option works well for them and will have the ability to opt-out. 

I believe that a public option can achieve the goal of bringing meaningful reform to our broken system.  It will protect consumers, keep insurers honest and ensure competition and that’s why we intend to include it on the bill that will be submitted to the Senate for consideration. 

We have spent countless hours over the last few days in consultation with Senators who have shown a genuine desire to see reform succeed, and I believe there is strong consensus to move forward in this direction.  Today’s developments bring us another step closer to achieving our goal of passing a bill this year that lowers costs, preserves choice, creates competition and improves quality of care.” 

Entry filed under: Health Care Reform, Public Option. Tags: , .

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