Progressives To Reid: Hold Firm On Public Option (VIDEO)

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met on Monday night with a group of Senate Democrats who urged him not to back down from his decision to put a public option in health care legislation.

"Most of us in the caucus want a strong public option, support the Reid way of doing it," he told the New York Times. "And we're confident that over time, as the debate unfolds and we take amendment after amendment after amendment, that we can get 60 votes."

"We figure on the public option there has been a lot of compromise already," he said. "...A large number of people in this country including many, many doctors wanted Medicare for all. That didn't happen. Then we wanted a strong public option tied to Medicare rates. Then we wanted a public option building the Medicare network. That didn't happen. Now we are saying public option coming out of the HELP Committee. And now we're saying public option with the state opt-out. Where was the compromise coming from their side?"

Sherrod Brown also discussed his position on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Monday night. He backed Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who said recently that the Democrats would force Republicans trying to delay the bill to stay in 24-hour sessions. "Whatever it takes," he said.

Asked about Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-Conn.) threat to filibuster the bill, Brown reiterated that the majority of Democrats backed the public option. "We're not gonna let the tail wag the dog here," he said. He added that he was confident that in the end, reluctant Democrats would let the public option go to an up-or-down vote. He also said he was sure Harry Reid would not put an amendment restricting abortion coverage in the Senate bill.

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