Obama: I Could Support A Robust Health Care Co-operative

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July 29, 2009 7:04 a.m.

President Obama’s been pretty consistent in his support of a public option, once going so far as to say any health care bill he signs must include one. But how broad is his definition of public option?

Here‘s what he told Time‘s Karen Tumulty. “I think in theory you can imagine a cooperative meeting that definition.”

Obviously sort of the legal structure of it is less important than practically how can it operate. There are concerns that in the past, attempts at setting up co-ops have not been successful because they just haven’t been able to get off the ground; sort of the start-up energy involved may not exist if you’re doing a state-by-state co-op effort as opposed to a broad national plan.

That’s roughly the Schumer position–if a co-operative can operate like a national government-run insurance program, then he’d likely support it. That’s clarifying, in light of developments in the Senate Finance Committee. But it might just take the little-remaining wind out of the sails of some reformers.

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