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Schumer says public option can pass the Senate

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November 22, 2009 10:50 AM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer says health care reform that includes a public option can pass the Senate.

Schumer says he is assuring his more conservative Democratic colleagues that the public option included in the Senate bill is "modest" and not the first step in a government takeover of the insurance industry.

Schumer is also reminding fellow Democratic senators that the bill would allow states to opt out of the public option. He asks that they not prevent his constituents in New York from getting the public option they desire.

Schumer predicts that at the end of the debate, the party will come together to support that version of a public option.

Schumer appeared Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."