Senator Harkin: Health bill will “have strong public option”

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) is the new chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. His committee has already passed its version of health insurance reform, a bill similar to what’s been moving in the House. Yesterday, at his annual steak fry, Harkin predicted the outcome of the final bill:

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin predicted Sunday that a health care reform bill would pass Congress before Christmas, with Republican votes.

Speaking in Indianola at his annual steak fry fundraiser, Harkin also declared that the legislation would “have a strong public option.”

Establishing government-run insurance plans that Americans would have the option of buying has been one of the most controversial aspects of the health care reform bills before Congress.

It’s good to hear a Democratic Senator sounding strong, forceful and like a Democrat. We’ve heard way too much from Senators Max Baucus and Kent Conrad. Those two have dominated the debate and sold out Democratic principles along the way.

Harkin was accompanied at the steak fry by another real Democrat, Al Franken. Three years ago, this event gave Obama his first taste of presidential buzz back in 2006.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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