New Public Option Efforts Surface In House

House Democrats are mounting a new effort to get a public option passed as a separate measure once the overall health care reform package becomes law.

Rep. Alan Grayson this week introduced a public option bill and called for such a plan to increase competition in the health care system. It’s a fairly simple, 4-page measure that he’s dubbed the “Medicare You Can Buy Into Act.”

It would do just that, allow anyone who wants it to buy into the plan. Grayson (D-FL) said that under his proposal the premiums would equal cost and the program would “pay for itself.”“[I]t’s just as important that we offer people not just another choice, but another kind of choice. A lot of people don’t want to be at the mercy of greedy insurance companies that will make money by denying them the care that they need to stay healthy, or to stay alive. We deserve to have a real alternative,” Grayson said in a statement.

He’s collected 10 co-sponsors. They are:

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA).

As Ezra Klein argued yesterday, once there Obama signs the legislation it becomes a lot easier to passes incremental improvements over time because there is a place to put them.

We’ve been tracking the last-ditch Senate effort to use reconciliation to pass a public option now, but Sen. Dick Durbin told reporters this morning that isn’t going to fly.