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Key Democratic Senators Correct Lieberman On The Public Option

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"Any low income, or moderate income person coming into the exchange brings a subsidy...you can take the subsidy and buy Aetna, you can take that subsidy to buy the public option. So the public option gets nothing better or worse...than any private company that's involved in the exchange," Brown said.

Lieberman made big news yesterday when he said that he'd be inclined to filibuster a health care bill if, at the end of a long amendment process, it still includes a public option. Asked by a different reporter if his potential defection lends credence to the idea that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ought to have chosen a more moderate course, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) leapt to Reid's defense.

"We are working with leader Reid on getting 60 votes... I am optimistic that we will get those 60 votes," Schumer said. Harry Reid is the best vote counter and vote getter that I have ever seen in my 35 years as a legislator."

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com