The current state of health reform legislation indicates that a government-run or “public option” will be included, with the proviso that states will be allowed to “opt out,” according to Senate majority leader Harry Reid. The public option has been the sticking point in Democratic efforts to combine competing versions of the health care bill.
Proponents of the government plan have been insisting that it be made part of the bill before it is brought to the Senate floor, which would mean that opponents would require 60 votes in order to remove it. Those against the public option maintain that supporters should be forced to rally 60 votes in order to insert it later. Either scenario would be a major hurdle.