WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today that the Senate bill will include a government-run health insurance option that would give states the choice to opt out.
“I think it is the fairest way to go,” said Reid during a press conference with reporters.
Reid said that he, Democratic Sens. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Max Baucus of Montana and the White House had decided that the opt-out option was the “best way to move forward.”
The majority leader is sending pieces of the bill to the Congressional Budget Office for cost analysis. Under the provision, states would have until 2014 to opt out.
Reid reportedly has just under the 60-member threshold he will need to succeed with the opt-out public option.
Sen. Olympia Snow, R-Maine, has previously supported a “trigger” public option, which would kick in only if private insurers do not expand coverage fast enough.