Ellison says health insurance reform may not be deadby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Rep. Keith Ellison says health insurance reform proposed by Democrats may not be dead, despite the loss of Senate Democrats' 60-vote majority in this week's special election in Massachusetts.
The 5th District Democrat said on MPR's Midmorning program Thursday that health reform could be enacted as part of a budget reconciliation effort, which doesn't require a supermajority.
"The fact is that that puts the public option back into the conversation. You only need 51 votes to pass it, you don't have to have that 60 votes in debate," Ellison said. "So in my opinion, I think we should seize the moment that we have and go along with the reform provisions that the Democratic base has supported all along."
Ellison says he wants to reopen the debate, instead of having the House simply pass the Senate's version of health reform.
He also thinks some Senate Republicans may be convinced to join the effort if negotiations begin again.