BUT SIGNALS NO PUBLIC OPTION PREFERENCE
"Just the vegetable on the side . . ."
Sen. Claire McCaskill declined to signal what type of public option program she prefers in healthcare legislation, but said she sees merit in letting states decide.
That's the approach Majority Leader Harry Reid said he'd pursue this week: A public option would be included in the bill taken to the Senate floor, but individual states would have the choice of opting out of the program. That would mean the state legislature and the Governor would have to agree to opting out.
In an interview with Ky3 News Thursday, McCaskill said she's open to all three options being tossed around -- Opting in, Opting Out or a trigger -- but touted the merit of allowing states to make the call. "The closer we get this process to people at home and away from Washington, the better," she said.
*WATCH Q & A WITH CLAIRE ABOVE*
She also said the impact of the public option is being exaggerated because it's controversial.
"It really is just one little vegetable on the side. The huge meal is all the other reforms contained in this bill," McCaskill said.
She cited: Requiring more competitive bidding in the Medicare system and coordinating the care around primary doctors to eliminate duplicate work among specialists.
More Q & A with Sen. McCaskill on healthcare LATER . . .