Public plan debate takes center stage - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Public plan debate takes center stage

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee are attempting to push through proposals that would give the government the right to sell insurance in competition with private insurers.

West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller says a so-called public option is the only way to prevent a substantial premium increase when health care reform legislation is passed.

Republicans are against an option, saying it could lead to private companies being forced out of business. The public plan has also drawn opposition from moderate Democrats on and off the committee.

Meanwhile, two liberal groups have launched tough TV and Internet ads targeting committee chair Max Baucus of Montana, charging him with being too cozy with insurance and health care interests.

One ad features a young uninsured father from Montana who is need of a heart operation. He looks straight into the camera and asks Baucus, "Whose side are you on?"

A Baucus aide says the ad creates false impressions.

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