Public option backer Sen. Brown still supports health bill

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Public option backer Sen. Brown still supports health bill

The Hill – Liberal Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), one of the most vocal supporters of creating a government-run public option health insurance program, affirmed that he will vote in favor of the Senate healthcare reform bill even though his priority has been stripped out.

"We're going to vote for cloture. We're going to pass it," Brown said Tuesday on MSNBC. "We're doing most of the right thing. This is a good bill," he said, noting that it would extend health coverage to more than 30 million people and enact strict new insurance market reforms and consumer protections.

On Monday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and evidently most Senate Democrats concluded the surest way to passage of their bill was to give in to the demands of centrists such as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) by stripping out the public option and a proposal to allow people between 55 and 64 years old to buy into Medicare.

Brown seemed to endorse this strategy. "This is about getting 60 votes, unfortunately. I think we do now."

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