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Michael Bennett Supports a Public Option

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Michael Bennett Supports a Public Option"

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Senator Michael Bennett’s blog has a post up opening with the observation that “There has recently been some confusion on Michael Bennet’s support for a public option” and offering the following new video in which he articulates strong support for such an option:

David Sirota observes that what introduced the “confusion” seems to have been genuine lukewarmness on Bennett’s part about fighting for a public option:

Bennet said that he favored a so-called public option, which would provide an alternative insurance source for those who can’t get private insurance. “But as I stand here today, I think it’s very unlikely that the public option part of this will pass.”

As Sirota says, one possible difference-maker here is rumors of a primary challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. As I’ve observed in the past the prospect of primary challenges also seems to have helped ensure that Kristen Gillibrand and Arlen Specter have stayed onside in major policy fights. Primaries are a pretty clunky and expensive way of fostering party discipline, especially in the Senate, but there aren’t a lot of other tools in the box. It’d probably be smarter and better for everyone to rely more on control over committee chairmanships.

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