Reid tweets inclusion of opt-out public option in health bill

The office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tweeted his decision to include an opt-out public option in the final healthcare reform bill.

The tweet came simultaneously with Reid's announcement at a press conference Monday afternoon, which was then "re-tweeted" by many politicos who use Twitter.

Reid had been grappling with the decision to include a government-run health plan in merged legislation between the Finance Committee's and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill:

Just announced that the merged health care bill will include a public option for ins coverage w/ a state opt-out clause #hcr

Last week liberal senators began to express confidence that Reid would include a public plan in the final bill. Before that, Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has said that the public option could not attract the 60 votes necessary to invoke cloture. 

But Reid was able to sell a number of moderate senators on an "opt-out" public option that would allow states to decline to participate in the plan. Under Reid's version of the bill, states would have until 2014 to opt-out of the plan.

Senate Republicans tweeted during Reid's press conference:

We know @SenatorReid's bill will cost about $1tril, result in higher taxes, higher premiums, and slash Medicare.