I’m getting word that the Senate bill will include an “opt-out” public option, meaning that states will have the option of “opting out” of a national public option. It’s a strange concept, considering that individuals will already have the option of opting out, hence the term public option, but whatever.
I’ve already made some inquiries around the state legislature about the likelihood of Missouri opting out, should such a bill pass. It depends on the mechanism that the state would need to use in order to opt out, but the odds are relatively good that Missouri would stay in the public option system if an opt out bill needed to be passed through the statehouse. The view seems to be that Nixon would likely not sign an opt out measure, and the bill could possibly be tied up in the Missouri Senate.
Of course, given our state’s loose ethics laws and the deep pockets of insurance companies, anything’s possible.
UPDATE: Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has a good idea:
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson told the Associated Press Monday while traveling with Obama on Air Force One to Florida that he thinks it will be hard for Reid to muster 60 votes for a public option plan that includes an opt-out for states. Otherwise, Nelson said, the powerful insurance lobby “will convince state legislatures to opt out at the very beginning,” before a public option plan has had a chance to prove its worth.