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Health care reform negotiations continue

It looked as though Senate Democratic health care negotiators agreed this week to replace a government-run insurance option with a scaled-back non-profit plan. The government-run plan, one of the biggest hurdles in the health care overhaul, would be replaced by a plan operated by private insurers but administered by the Office of Personnel Management, which supervises health coverage for federal workers.

Now, in an effort to get a bill passed before Christmas, a group of ten Democratic Senators offered to take a “public option” off the table in exchange for a substantial expansion of Medicare. It is a plan that would open up the Medicare system to Americans age 55-64, a demographic that makes up the majority of this nation’s healthcare expenditures and currently has 4.5 million uninsured. Stay tuned for more developments as the tough negotiations continue.

(We recently provided an outline of the differences between the Senate and House proposals, including a list of some philosophical points where the two bills share common ground. We also recently summarized how the Senate’s Version of Healthcare Reform will affect insurance premiums, based on the Congressional Budget Office published report.)

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