Merkley: 33 Senate Dems now back ObamaCare public option

Merkley: 33 Senate Dems now back ObamaCare public option
© Greg Nash
 
 
That makes up a majority of the caucus, although it means 13 Democrats or Independents who caucus with them have not joined Merkley’s resolution. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Democratic calls for a public insurance option have risen as major private insurers have pulled out of ObamaCare marketplaces, leaving parts of the country with just one option for coverage through the law.
 
Merkley wrote in the email to members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee that he was “outraged” when Aetna announced in August that it would pull out of many ObamaCare marketplaces for financial reasons.
 
He argued that the move was retaliation for the Department of Justice blocking the company’s proposed merger with Humana. 
 
“I don't think we need any more proof that a public option is critical to bringing more competition and accountability to the insurance market,” Merkley wrote. 
 
The co-sponsors of the resolution include Sens. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees Harry Reid knocks Ocasio-Cortez's tax proposal: Fast 'radical change' doesn't work Overnight Defense: Trump rejects Graham call to end shutdown | Coast Guard on track to miss Tuesday paychecks | Dems eye Trump, Russia probes | Trump talks with Erdogan after making threat to Turkey's economy MORE (D-Nev.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump blasts Pelosi for wanting to leave country during shutdown The Senate should host the State of the Union Dem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown MORE (D-N.Y.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersKamala Harris picks Baltimore as headquarters for potential 2020 campaign: report Sen. Casey says he won't run for president in 2020 Women's March plans 'Medicare for All' day of lobbying in DC MORE (I-Vt.).
 
 
A public option has essentially no chance of passing Congress as long as Republicans control one chamber. 
 
In addition, some centrist Democrats have expressed wariness of a public option. 
 
 
“Until we actually have those conversations and we have bipartisan support, I think it's unrealistic to assume that we're going to see any kind of expansion of care.”
 
The resolution in favor of the public option notes that 20 million people have gained coverage under ObamaCare that “there is still more work to be done.”