New ‘Public Option Scorecard’ tracks Senate stances

The Washington Independent today launched a “Public Option Scoreboard” that tracks the stances of U.S. senators on health reform. The feature will be updated daily as the various reform bills move through Congress. Today’s scoreboard lists 47 senators as likely to support a public option, 38 as likely to oppose such an option, and 14 as on the fence.

Further refuting recent sloppy reporting, Colorado Sen.Michael Bennet is listed as a solid supporter of the public option.

“Any health care reform bill should control costs, allow people to keep their own medical plan and their own doctor, increase competition, and increase coverage — all in a fiscally responsible way. I also believe providing patients with a public insurance option — that increases competition and drives down prices — would help to achieve these goals.”

So is Sen. Mark Udall.

“I support the President’s plan to include the public option as a tool help reform our broken health care system.”

Both Udall and Bennet are members of the so-called Conserva-Dem or Bluedog group of fiscal conservative Democrats whose support analysts say is crucial to the passage of any reform bill. Members of the group were called to meet with Pres. Obama at the White House the day after his address on health care last week. In a press conference after the meeting, Colorado’s senators reiterated their support of the public option and their renewed commitment to passing a reform bill this session.

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