McConnell signals openness to Conrad's healthcare compromise

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he's open to a healthcare reform alternative offered by a Democratic colleague, but cautioned the Senate needs more time to consider it.

McConnell said that he is willing to consider a so-called "co-op" plan, which Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) proposed earlier this year as a way to bridge debate about the inclusion of the "public" (or "government-run") option in a healthcare bill.

"I think Sen. Conrad's co-op proposal is worth taking a look at," McConnell said during an interview Friday on the Fox Business Network. "No one understands it yet. It's just a brand new fresh idea."

Conrad's plan, the North Dakotan told the Washington Post, might have the federal government charter a non-profit option as an alternative to the public option.

McConnell said that while the idea should be under consideration, it might mean having to push back the date to finish a healthcare package in the Senate, which leaders and the White House had hoped would come before the August recess.

"The Democratic majority in the Congress seems anxious to do the bill before anyone reads it," the Senate's GOP leader said. "I'm willing to take a look at the co-op proposal -- others are. We need to take the time to get this right."

Watch a video of the interview below: