Merkley, a Democrat from Washington state, is calling for the government to support “efforts to increase competition and accountability in the health insurance marketplace” by offering every American the “choice of a public insurance plan,” according to the resolution text, which was introduced Sept. 15.
The list of cosponsors includes Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the outgoing minority leader, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who is viewed as Reid’s successor.
Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia and Hillary Clinton’s running mate, has stayed off the list.
While serving as governor of Virginia, Kaine hired Marilyn Tavenner to be his health secretary.
Tavenner, a former hospital executive, went on to become the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services while the Affordable Care Act was being implemented. She is now president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a Washington-based health insurance company trade group.
Many AHIP members sell Medicare Advantage plans and managed Medicaid plans.
The text of S.Res. 561 describes how a public option program might operate only in general terms.