Sen. Franken joins other senators in support for public optionby Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — DFL Sen. Al Franken is among a group of liberal Senators urging that the health care reform bill include a public option.
Some Democrats have spoken out against including a public option and are threatening to break with the 60-vote Democratic caucus over the issue. Franken and several other Senators met with Majority leader Harry Reid last Monday night about the issue.
Franken declined to offer specifics of the discussion, but said he and the others wanted an update on the work underway to merge bills passed by two Senate committees.
"Some of the progressives in the caucus wanted to meet with the leader to talk about where we are really on the public option and strategies," Franken said. "Because we know that there are five or so out of the 60 that either have qualms about it or need some convincing."
On another element of health care, Franken said he thinks it's likely whatever ends up passing will include a tax on medical devices despite complaints from manufacturers such a tax would hurt their businesses.