In a letter sent yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told two senators that he would push for a vote on the public option in “coming months.”
The letter to Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) says Reid was “disappointed” the public option did not make it into the final legislation.
“As we have discussed, I will work to ensure that we are able to vote on the public option in the coming months,” Reid wrote. His spokesman, Jim Manley, confirmed to TPMDC that the letter came from Reid.More from the letter, which was obtained by the Huffington Post:
Nevertheless, like you, I remain committed to pursuing the public option. While I believe that the legislation we are considering does much to provide affordable coverage to millions of Americans and curb insurance company abuses, I also believe that the public option would provide additional competition to make insurance even more affordable. As we have discussed, I will work to ensure that we are able to vote on the public option in the coming months.
Through a spokesman, Sanders said he appreciated the letter.
“I very much appreciate Majority Leader Reid’s continuing support for a public option and I am grateful for his commitment to bring legislation before the full Senate within the next several months,” he said. “It’s imperative that we have a vote on this issue and I’m glad that is going to happen.”
Earlier today, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) said that President Obama told him that he couldn’t push for a public option this year, but might try next year.