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Opt-out proposal puts state leaders to the test

New York Times, November 11, 2009

In the two weeks since the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, embraced a proposal that would allow states to opt out of a new government health insurance plan, state leaders have begun debating whether to take part. The proposal, which is being woven into the Senate healthcare bill, would give states the right to opt out of only the public plan, not from the tax increases needed to subsidize coverage for the uninsured. Several state officials said that if Reid's proposal carries, many governors are likely to accept the new plan rather than incite an ideological battle mirroring the fight in Congress, the New York Times reports.