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Senator Proposes State-Run Health Plans as Compromise

5 years ago
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As the congressional debate over health care reform seems to hinge on a public insurance option, one senator has a new idea: let the states run their own government health care plan. The proposal by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) is earning praise from centrist Democrats as a way to both expand coverage and spur competition in the private market.

"Conceptually, having the states take responsibility makes a great deal of sense," said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). "It is important that we really take a close look at this." Sen. Ken Conrad (D-N.D.) called the Carper proposal "very constructive." But Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, the key Republican in the debate, reiterated her support for her own solution -- a "fallback" government plan that would kick in if the new bill failed to expand coverage as expected.

In an interview with Politics Daily's Jill Lawrence last week, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), who proposed one of the public options voted down by the Senate Finance Committee, said there are too many ways state-run plans can go wrong. A plan like the one Carper is proposing could leave health care coverage up to the whims of the governor or the financial condition of the state, and would create a messy situation for people who moved between states.

State-Run Health Plans Garner Support [Wall Street Journal]
Filed Under: Senate, Democrats, Health Care

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