Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) stressed the need for a public health option in healthcare reform during a meeting with reporters, claiming It's the one certain way to drive down costs. Dodd, who is chairing the committee in absence of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), said he would do whatever it takes to get a public option included in the 615-page bill the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is currently negotiating.
Republicans on the panel have specifically complained that key sections of the billincluding a public optionhave been left blank and have yet to be scored by the CBO. Dodd said the details of a public plan could be released over the next few days.
Partisan tensions on the committee have been heating up, as Democrats voted down efforts by the GOP to review the cost-saving merits of the bill, and other provisions. This bill is not an experiment. This is a massive rewrite of healthcare, said Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who offered an amendment for entities such as the Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office to review proposals in the bill to see if they would save money. If it doesnt, that provision shouldn't go forward, he said.