Senate health bill has public option, no thanks to Obama

Good news, part 1: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced yesterday that the health care bill he’ll bring up on the Senate floor will have a public health insurance option. That means opponents of the public option will have to try to strip out the measure with amendments on the Senate floor. They don’t have 60 votes to do that.

Good news, part 2: at yesterday’s press conference, Reid “definitively stated that a trigger bill wouldn’t get a [Congressional Budget Office] score – effectively taking it off the table as a legislative option.” The insurance industry and its allies in Congress, including Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, have pushed the “trigger” idea because it would virtually guarantee that the public option would never go into effect.

Bad news, part 1: Reid’s compromise would allow states to opt out of the public health insurance option, and limits participation in the public plan in many other ways too.

Bad news, part 2: At crunch time, President Barack Obama did nothing to help progressives fighting to strengthen the health care bill. On the contrary, he urged Reid to drop the public option in favor of a “trigger.”

More thoughts on that betrayal are after the jump.

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