U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said today there will be a "public option" in whatever health insurance reform bill comes out of Congress.
"We are going to have a public option before this bill goes to the president's desk," Reid said in a conference call with constituents, referring to some kind of government plan.
."I believe the public option is so vitally important to create a level playing field and prevent the insurance companies from taking advantage of us," he said.
Reid also mentioned the inclusion of incentives for healthy behavior, something suggested by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.
What form of a public option is something we don't know.
dday runs down the various types of proposals that are out there in his post: What's In A Name?
Well, we'll know one way or another soon enough and although many are not optimistic about the chances of a vibrant public option the fact that Reid has injected it into the dialogue after he has been unwillingly to do so only helps our cause. And all the online activism done by the blogosphere and health-care groups has been essential or it never would have gotten this far. We will continue to push and fight and scratch and yell to save the bill from the grubby hands of the health-care industrial complex. You can count on it.
UPDATE: Reid's office clarifies his remarks in a statement sent over from an aide to the Senator.
"Sen. Reid believes that health insurance reform must include a mechanism to keep insurers honest, create competition and keep costs down," the statement reads. "He feels that the public option is the best way to do that. While we don't know exactly what that option will look like, Sen. Reid, working with President Obama, will ensure that whatever is included in the final bill does just that."
This seemed somewhat inevitable as Reid has largely resisted going out on a limb when it comes to the public option.