09/16/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Kent Conrad: Public Option A 'Wasted Effort'

A public health insurance option took more hits Sunday as Sen. Kent Conrad described its pursuit as a "wasted effort" and an administration official said it is not an "essential" part of reform.

Conrad (D-N.D.), who supports setting up health insurance co-operatives with government seed money to compete with private insurers, described the public option as all but a lost cause.

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