RIP: Public Option Taken Off Life Support


HUFFINGTON POST: The public health insurance option died on Thursday, December 10, 2009, after a months-long struggle with Senate parliamentary procedure. The time of death was recorded as 11:12 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Its death had been rumored numerous times over the past year, but the public option repeatedly and defiantly battled back. The Senate’s insistence on 60 votes, combined with President Obama’s decision not to intervene on its behalf, eventually proved overwhelming. The public option leaves behind a Medicare buy-in for people aged 55-64, an expansion of Medicaid, a quasi-public option for those under 300 percent of the poverty line and a collection of national private plans managed by the Office of Personnel Management. The one remaining chance for the public option rested with the House somehow forcing its will on the Senate. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the final plug in a press briefing with reporters Thursday. MORE

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