On Monday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that the Senate's health overhaul package would include a national insurance plan—one in which states could opt out if they so choose. Few other details were released and the bill is now at the hands of the Congressional Budget Office.
Not 24 hours later, however, a clutch of centrist Democrats balked at supporting the bill, with Connecticut's Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, saying he would vote to help defeat it if it remains unchanged.
Schumer, along with Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), at a Capitol Hill news conference, put an optimistic spin on the situation. Schumer lauded Reid's ability to corral party support and said that the as details of the bill emerge, Democratic stragglers will warm to the legislation.
Lieberman, however, said he would vote to advance the bill to the Senate floor for debate. “We regard it as a good sign,” Schumer said, “because he was one of the four or five people who hadn't privately committed to that.”
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