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
Study: Majority of U.S. doctors support public option
Study: Hospitals could lose money on public option plan
Grassley: 'Public option' a 'deal-breaker'