Health | Oregon | Economy

Sen. Wyden Responds To Kennedy Health Care Reform Bill

OPB | June 16, 2009 9:31 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:10 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By April Baer

Health care reform advocates are busy going over the details of the bill presented by Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy — among them, Oregon's Senator Ron Wyden. April Baer reports.


Senator Kennedy's bill has drawn fire from Republicans and some moderates for its inclusion of a so-called public option.

That's Capitol shorthand for a government-run health plan, similar to Medicare or Medicaid, that might cover the uninsured.

Wyden's Chief of Staff Josh Kardon says it's too early to say what's workable, but that Wyden's open to discussion.

Josh Kardon:  "A national public option is one potential tool for controlling costs. As long as it helps us reach that objective it can be an important and useful element of real health reform. So Senator Wyden is very open to a national public option."

Kardon says Wyden is more concerned with ensuring that insurance companies could not deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.

The Kennedy bill may run into more fundamental concerns over the limited coverage it delivers for an estimated one trillion dollars cost over ten years.

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