Is Michael Bennet "Wimping Out" on the Public Option?

March 25 2010, 9:23 AM
Although President Barack Obama already staged a ceremony to sign the health-care bill, lawmakers are still wrangling with a few details of reform at the Capitol today. That gives U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, who ardently fought for the public option---left out of the bill---an opportunity to try once again. But it appears Bennet will stay quiet, leaving the campaign of his Democratic primary competitor in this year's election claiming Bennet is "wimping out on the public option" (via The Durango Herald). Former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff has collected some 2,000 signatures calling for the option to be revived and plans to deliver them to Bennet. And liberal talk show host and columnist David Sirota has delivered an additional 35,000 petitions to Bennet's Denver office to lobby for a government-run insurance plan that would help people who can't get coverage on the private market. Senate Republicans were able to identify two minor violations of reconciliation rules in the final piece of the health-care package, forcing the Senate to change the reconciliation bill and send it to the House for final passage (via The Washington Post). The move gives the Democrats an opportunity to vote on the public option. And while House Majority Whip James Clyburn tells The Huffington Post he believes an amendment for it could clear the House, it would likely have problems passing in the Senate.