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Senators Make Progress On Healthcare Bill, Talk Of Discarding Public Option

December 15, 2009 by  

Senators make progress on healthcare bill, talk of discarding public optionLast week, after months of impassioned debate and public derision, liberal and conservative members of the Senate seemed to have come closer to a compromise on the proposed healthcare bill.

Several Democratic officials said that the deal now includes a proposal that would replace the public insurance option with a not-for-profit private option that would be overseen by the federal Office of Personnel Management, according to CNN.com.

The plan would also allow people 55 years of age or older to buy into Medicare coverage that is currently only available to people who are 65 years and above.

However, Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) one of the senators working on the deal, said that he would not support any proposal that would replace the public option with a purely private insurance program.

"We need to have some competition for the insurance industry to keep rates down and save taxpayer dollars," he said.

Meanwhile, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) expressed concern over the idea of broadening the Medicare program to include people over the age of 55.

"I want to make sure we’re not adding a big additional burden to the Medicare program, which we need to figure out how to save, because it’s going bankrupt," said Lieberman.
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