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Democratic Senators willing to go on the public option, ignored

December 5, 2009 - Mike Maneval

A question, perhaps rhetorical, perhaps not,  is frequently heard as debate on health care reform wages on - why don't the legislators behind either reform plan accept coverage under their respective standards themselves?

Two Republican senators, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and David Vitter of Louisiana, now are injecting this supposed comeuppance into the Senate's debate on the plan, but with likely unintended results.

John Nichols of The Nation reports an amendment introduced by the two requires senators and representatives to enroll in the public option, for as Coburn put it, "if its good enough for everybody else, we ought to be leading by example."

Prompting Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio to offer to co-sponsor the amendment and to enroll in the public option for which he continues to fight. Another Democrat in the Senate, Ron Wyden of Oregon, said he'd also be willing to enroll in the public option, according to Nichols.

Brown signed on as a co-sponsor of the legislation by bringing his support for the concept and desire to do so to the Senate floor. Oddly enough, Coburn and Vitter, Brown claims, made no effort to accept his leadership by example, rebuffing calls from his office regarding sponsorship.


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