Sen. Sherrod Brown gets some of what he sought in health care bill

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Sen. Sherrod Brown gets some of what he sought in health care bill

The Plain Dealer – WASHINGTON – Health care reform has been a lifetime goal for Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, the son of a country doctor.

This year's drive to fix the system was a chance for him to finally win changes on his longtime wish list, like reducing prescription drug costs and establishing a public health care option as an alternative to profit-driven private insurance companies.

Brown didn't get everything he wanted from the bill the Senate adopted on Christmas Eve. The public option language he spent months crafting was removed from its final version, and he didn't get the kind of drug savings he sought.

But initiatives he did secure — like banning insurers from denying coverage to patients who enter clinical trials and to sick children with "pre-existing conditions" — were enough to leave him feeling merry this Christmas.

"This bill is a good bill, but it's not great," said Brown, of Avon. "A public option would have made it better. A Medicare buy-in would have made it better. But we weren't able to do that. We passed a good bill that is taking major steps in keeping costs down and protecting people's insurance so that they can't be taken off the rolls because they're too expensive."

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