If Democratic leaders in the House can line up a majority behind a single public option proposal Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says they want to bring their healthcare overhaul legislation to the floor next week.
According to Hoyer party leaders are continuing discussions and counts to see if a government-run plan linked to Medicare payment rates for healthcare providers or one based on negotiated rates can get the 218 votes needed for passage. He says he will keep his promise to Republicans to post the health bill and any manager's amendment online for at least 72 hours before a vote.
Some House Democrats had expressed reservations about voting for a bill with a public option if the Senate wasn't going to consider a government-backed insurance plan that would compete with private insurers. But House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to include a form of public option in the bill he brings to the Senate floor has eased those anxieties. However; there's still a question whether Reid can get the votes he needs for a bill that includes a public option.