Dems renew push for inclusion of public option in reform bill

The public option concept has been one of the biggest political footballs to emerge from the health reform legislation process. At best, Republicans and Democrats differ on how it should work, and more often, the idea pits the two parties against each other.

Still, Democrats in the Senate and House haven't given up on the idea, particularly given polls they say prove that average Americans want the public option to pass.

Thirty Senate Democrats sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pitching the public option, and followed with speeches from the Senate floor renewing their demands for the inclusion of a public option in the final health reform bill. Now, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the new chair of the Senate Health Committee, has promised that the public option will be in the final bill merging House and Senate versions.

Meanwhile, following on a recent Congressional Budget Office report suggesting that the key Republican health reform draft wouldn't increase the budget, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent three versions of the House's health reform bill to the CBO to be scored.

To learn more about the ongoing public option debate:
- read this Kaiser Health News piece

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