Senators Consider Public Option With Triggers

The option for a public health plan like Medicare has senators divided, forging compromise that would diminish plan
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June 2, 2009 -- The Obama administration and Senate Democrats are debating a health care reform outline that will insist upon a public option for insurance but leave open the possibility for it to be kicked in via triggers.

Multiple Democratic sources tell the Huffington Post that the White House and key members of the Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committees are in the process of hammering out key principles on health care reform -- with a meeting scheduled at the West Wing this afternoon. One of the components will be music to progressive ears: that any bill includes an option publicly run health insurance coverage. But it also comes with a caveat that could engender opposition from that very same constituency.

A trigger would pave the way for public option to come into place only after certain market conditions are met -- mainly if private insurance companies are unable to achieve various metrics for coverage within a certain time frame. The proposal would placate many of the private health care actors who consider a public plan the first step towards a single-payer system. Progressives, however, view it as reform in name and not substance. Read more>>

For more on this topic, see this similar story in the New York Times.

Another story published May 5 in the NY Times describes fruther compromise on the public option coming from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York).

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