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The Public Option: Plan B

Just as a new poll was released today indicating that 59.9% of the public believes in a public option, Senator Carper floated his ‘Plan B’ alternative to the proposal. If centrists like Lieberman, Snowe, Collins, Landriau, Lincoln, and Nelson do not ultimately support the current proposal, Carper instead poses combining an independent (and non-profit/non-government) public option with the trigger proposal. The plan would receive a start-up loan from the government and compete on a level playing field with private insurers, would only be available in states that lack affordable coverage and would include, as Carper states, “safeguards that make sure that the taxpayers don’t’ end up on the hook if the public option doesn’t go well.” Landrieu has proposed a similar alternative, though dubs the option instead as a ‘fallback’ that would not be immediately available to states (in contrast to Day One availability in the Carper and Snowe proposals).

Today’s Amendments:

Mikulski amendment improving women’s preventive services passed 61-39

McCain amendment reducing medicare cuts (part of the bill’s financing) failed on a 42-58 vote

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