Dems Reach Deal to Ditch Public Health Option Reid had pushed senators for agreement tonight By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Dec 8, 2009 7:29 PM CST 26 comments Comments Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill today. (AP Photo) (Newser) – Democratic senators say they have a tentative deal to drop a government-run insurance option from health-care legislation. No further details were immediately available. But liberals and moderates have been discussing an alternative, including a private insurance arrangement to be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the system through which lawmakers purchase coverage. Additionally, talks centered on opening up Medicare to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55, a significant expansion of the large government health care program that currently serves the over-65 population. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa told reporters he didn't like the agreement but would support it to the hilt in an attempt to pass health care legislation.