Hope for public option remains, despite Senate set-back

Although the Senate Finance Committee dealt a blow to the Democratic push for a public option plan yesterday, some commentators say there's still hope.

Committee members voted down two amendments that would have added a public option to the Senate reform bill, including one backed by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) that was defeated, 13 to 10.

It's no doubt a setback for Democrats--including President Obama--who largely support including a public option in health reform measures.  Every version of the health reform package that's moving through the Congress--other than those voted on yesterday--include some version of a public option plan.

However, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) seems willing to back a bill that includes a public option "trigger." Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), has said that after personally polling Senators, he believes a public option can still win a majority of votes in the full Senate.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Kaiser Health News piece

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