In a closed-door meeting of Senate Finance Committee Democratic members and their staff Wednesday evening, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) suggested that the committee bill include a ten-year delay between passage of health care reform and the implementation of a public option that Americans could buy into, according to two Democratic aides.
Under the plan floated by Kerry, a public health care option would only be triggered by private insurance companies failing to meet certain criteria after ten years. Known as the “trigger” in legislative lingo, the idea is vociferously opposed by health care advocates who consider it the death of reform.
The trigger is as good as no public option at all. Ten years gives Congress — and even a new administration — plenty of time to repeal the trigger before it even kicks in. Meanwhile, in that time, we’d all be required by law to buy private health insurance.
Senator John Kerry
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