In this Oct. 21, 2009, photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., center, accompanied by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., speaks during a news conference on health insurance companies on Capitol Hill in Washington. In Congress these days, the health care debate is as much about patience as patients.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
The federal Health Insurance Plan Or Public Option which looked dead on arrival in the Senate a few weeks ago after months of senate committee deliberation is gaining new momentum as Majority Leader (D) Harry Reid of Nevada has proposed a compromise in which states can opt out of offering a government backed insurance option that would compete against private insurers. There is still no bi- partisan support due to republicans staunch objection in having any government involvement in offering healthcare insurance but the real sticking point in getting 60 votes to pass a health reform bill with some kind of public option lies with some centrist conservative democrats who have opposed the public option on a major scale. Last week and over the weekend that sentiment seems to have changed some as more and more centrist democrats have shown that an opt out policy in which states can decide whether or not they will offer a government backed insurance plan to their citizens is gaining support from more centrist democrats and that magic 60 votes in the Senate is looking more and more a real possibility.
In this Oct. 23, 2009, photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accompanied by House Majority Whip James Clyburn of S.C., discuss health care during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. In Congress these days, the health care debate is as much about patience as patients.(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)