The health care reform debate continues in the US Senate. Senate Democratic health care negotiators agreed last week to replace a government-run public insurance option with a scaled-back non-profit plan that would be similar in structure to plans covering federal employees and overseen by the Office of Personnel Management. This plan also included a Medicare provision that would have allowed individuals age 55 and older to “buy into” the plan. However, in light of Senator Joe Lieberman’s (I-D-Conn.) recently communicated opposition and threats to participate in a GOP-led filibuster, Senate Democrats now indicate they will drop the Medicare buy-in proposal in return for securing Lieberman’s vote. His support, along with several other moderate senators such as Ben Nelson, is essential to reach the 60-vote threshold to defeat what will very likely be unified GOP opposition to the measure. In a recent interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes, President Obama stated that he expected the Senate to vote on its health care reform bill by Christmas. DSA will continue to monitor developments and communicate with membership as events warrant.

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