Brown: No Negotiations On The Public Option, As Far As I’m Concerned

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Brown: No Negotiations On The Public Option, As Far As I’m Concerned

Talking Points Memo – One of the most dogged public option advocates in the Senate–and a key liaison between progressives and leadership–says no way, no how to yet another compromise.

"There's no negotiations as far as I'm concerned," insisted Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). "We've compromised the public option three times, maybe four, depending on how you define it. This bill is not going to continue to become more pro-insurance company."

So the opt out is where you draw the line?

"Yeah, the opt out was not our first choice. Delinking from Medicare was not our first choice," Brown said.

Several conservative Democrats have entrenched their positions against the public option, and have threatened to filibuster the health care bill if it's not further compromised

"I think in the end that none of my colleagues want to be on the wrong side of history," Brown said. "I think that no Democrat wants to kill the most important bill in their political lives–in their careers–on a procedural vote."

That creates some complicated math. With Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) insisting that he'll filibuster any bill that includes public option of any kind–even a trigger–Reid has a maximum of 59 votes in his caucus for a health care bill. That means to retain a public option at all Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) must be brought aboard, and she's said the measure must be changed to a trigger of some sort.

Brown says he won't be helping in that effort: "I'm not drawing a line in the sand. I am not part of any effort to give the insurance companies more."

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