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Rockefeller Warms To Public Option Opt Out; So Do Conservative Dems


This afternoon, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)--a very visible public option advocate--said he could back an opt-out clause. "I would accept and would be open to the idea, after the program's up and running a couple years, if a state wants to opt out, if they want to leave 25, 30, 50 thousand of their citizens without that choice," Weiner said. "I dont believe it's gonna happen. So i would accept that kind of an opt-out thing." Rockefeller likewise believes that, once consumers purchase in to the public option, they'll raise hell if their state governments try to take it away from them.

And it's not just public option enthusiasts who are sounding off positively about the concept. Here's what Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) told me earlier this week: "while there's support for public option generally, generically, when you start talking about it specifically as it relates to states being able to opt out or opt in, have their own, the support overwhelmingly goes up to 76 percent."

Again, the opt out is gaining steam politically, but it's still very young from a legislative perspective, so it would be easy to overinterpret statements like these. Let's just say that we probably haven't heard the last of it.

About The Author


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