Top Senate Democrats could make their health bill public as soon as Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced Monday he is including a government-run health insurance plan that give states the choice of opting out. Reid said he believes it's the fairest way to go and adding a public option can achieve the goal of bringing meaningful reform to a broken system. While he was submitting variations of health care legislation to the Congressional Budget Office that bring together different elements of the Finance and Health Committee bills Reid said whatever version is chosen will have the public option.
The measure is expected to expand health coverage to tens of millions of Americans by helping to offset the cost of insurance for those that are low- and middle-income and expanding Medicaid. As for a requirement to buy insurance or pay a fine - exceptions would be made for those deemed unable to afford it. New rules to prevent insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing health conditions and dropping a customer's insurance once they become ill are also expected.
Concerns still remain. But once the bills from both chambers are analyzed by the CBO further revisions are anticipated. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate want to bring health care legislation to floor votes next month. The House is expected to unveil the latest version of its bill soon, perhaps this week.