Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to Twitter on Thursday to share a video from the first health bill merger meeting held yesterday with top Senate Democrats and administration officials.
Reid is tasked with combining the Senate Finance Committee bill -- which passed on Tuesday -- and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) bill. The public option is the major sticking point in combining the two versions; the Finance Committee did not include it while the HELP Committee did include it.
I know many of you are watching the Senate as we move fwd on health reform. Here is video of 1st mtg combining bills http://bit.ly/1VBFGz
The effort to share footage from the meeting may be an effort to increase transparency in response to criticism from some Republican lawmakers that the final health bill will be drafted behind closed doors.
In the video, Reid offers support for the public option using rhetoric mirroring the White House's take on the issue. Both have not promised to include it, but have expressed support for the idea.
"We're going to look at many options. I believe one option should be the public option. I've always
believed in it," he said in the video. "I'm going to work very hard to see what we can do to have this in a bill. I think it's one way to keep the insurance companies honest and have a level playing field."
As to when President Barack Obama will sign a bill, Reid stayed mum, saying it would happen in the "not distant future."'