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i know this isnt a diary but i just had to get this out there so people know.  And mind you, he said this AFTER obama's speech which Reid seemed so happy about. This doesnt make any sense.

Reid: Co-ops Could Replace Public Option if Structured Right

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid often says that he supports a public option "or something like a public option." But he spoke about that a bit more specifically today:

"The purpose of a public option is to create competition, which is so important, and to create quality healthcare," Reid told reporters today.

"If we can come up with a concept of a cooperative that does just that, that is it makes more competition and makes insurance companies honest, yes, I think that would fit the bill," Reid said.

A couple things jump out about this. First, this is a bit more specific than we're used to with Reid. He's very clear here that, at least in theory, a co-op could meet all of his and the President's requirements with respect to creating competition and honesty in the insurance market.

More importantly, though, this comes a day after Obama's speech where he specifically warned liberals that he doesn't see a government-run public option as an end in and of itself. It's a tool. Reid is using very similar language to say a co-op model might serve that function as well. And since the just-released Senate Finance Committee draft provides for the creation of a co-op system, it seems pretty clear that Reid's taking the idea seriously.

This really smacks of passing a bill and calling it "reform".

Late update: A Reid spokesperson tells me "Reid did not endorse the co-op plan at today's press conference. He reiterated again today that he supports a public option but is open to interpretations of such a plan. The goals for him are lowering cost and keeping the insurance industry in check." And indeed, it does seem that other reports have overstated Reid's remarks.

Originally posted to lizard people on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 04:01 PM PDT.

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