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Early Morning Swim: Jay Rockefeller Still Fighting for Public Option on Countdown

 Go Jay Rock:

The New York Times reported over the weekend that Reid has decided that the package merged from bills passed by the HELP and Finance committees would not include a public option so as to make it more attractive to swing votes such as Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

A senior Democratic aide, however, disputed that the issue has been resolved: “He has not made a final decision yet.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said he would offer an amendment on the floor with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) that would require health insurance companies to spend 85 to 95 percent of federal subsidies on healthcare services, a proposal designed to limit their profits.

Others have begun to focus on floor procedure and whether it will be necessary to use budget reconciliation, a procedural maneuver that would let Democrats pass reform by a simple majority.

“We’re all aware of what we’ve got to do to get to the endgame,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the HELP Committee.

Got any predictions?

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