GOP: Congress, Prez Must Go On Public Option
If there is one, which we hope there isn't. Good idea, say Dems.
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2009 9:28 AM CST
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In the circus that is the Senate these days, a couple of anti-public-option Republicans—Tom Coburn and David Vitter—rolled out an amendment to the health care bill Friday requiring members of Congress to enroll in any such plan that might come to pass. When Dems didn’t object—Sherrod Brown, Chris Dodd, and Al Franken tried to cosponsor, but were rebuffed—GOP senators upped the ante and added in the president. The amended amendment would extend the mandate to the whole executive branch.

There’s “no better way to ensure that the public option is responsive to our citizens,” Coburn tells the Huffington Post, “than by having the politicians in charge of the system enrolled in the same program.” Sen. Charles Grassley is also on board, claiming the amendment closes a loophole that exempted some leadership from being included. Whatever, says Harry Reid. It’s just a “feel-good amendment that typifies the Republican Party's utter lack of ideas.”

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