One of two bills in the Senate does contain a public option, but unlike the robust approach in the House, its reimbursement structure is not based on Medicare rates. Legislation recently approved in the Senate Finance Committee offers up not-for-profit cooperatives to compete with private insurance instead of a government-run plan.
While the robust public option enjoys strong support in the House Democratic Caucus, it “falls short of support” in the House, he said. A fiscally conservative Blue Dog from North Dakota, Pomeroy said he would favor a public plan based on negotiated rates, but acknowledged this approach on its own wouldn't achieve the kind of savings a robust plan would.
Pairing up negotiated rates with increased Medicaid enrollment, however, would produce competitive savings, he offered.
Other Democrats continue to support a robust public plan based on Medicare rates plus 5%. Not only does it save the most money, “it's necessary to provide competition to the insurance industry,” and that's what a robust option would do, said Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) told reporters.
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