Public Option

Reid Nears 60 Votes for Opt-Out Plan

While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is reportedly close to convincing 60 senators to support a public option with a clause allowing states to opt out, new reports indicate the White House is pushing back against the idea. Talking Points Memo reports the White House fears an opt-out clause could cost them the support of Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). One source close to the negotiations says the administration is “skeptical of opt-out and are generally deferential to the Snowe strategy that involves the trigger.” (A “trigger” clause would mean the public option would only go into effect if private insurance companies don’t lower costs and cover more people within a certain timeframe.) High-level White House officials have reportedly continued to press the trigger proposal on numerous occasions, worrying senators who support the public option.