Reid Assures Snowe That Public Option, Medicare Buy-In Are Dead

Congressional Quarterly/Newscom

It wasn’t much in doubt, but Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) confirmed to reporters tonight that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid assured her all of the contentious aspects of the public option compromise–particularly the Medicare buy-in provision–have been dropped.

The two met this afternoon so that Reid could gauge the likelihood that she’ll ultimately vote with the Democrats, at least to push the bill past a filibuster.

He assured you that the Medicare buy-in and the public option are out, I asked?

“Correct,” she said.

Still, Snowe insists, as she did earlier today, that there may not be enough time between now and the end of this week for her to understand the bill well enough to support it, as it enters the Senate holds a series of supermajority votes needed to finish the bill by Christmas.

With three unknowns–Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Roland Burris (D-IL), and Russel Feingold (D-WI)–on the left, and a wavering Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) on the right, Reid still has a lot of ground to cover.


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