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Healthcare idea has public plan only as backup

New York Times, September 4, 2009

As President Obama faces conflicting pressures from the left and the right over his healthcare proposal, White House officials are investigating a possible compromise under which the government would offer its own health plan only if private insurers failed to provide affordable coverage. The idea of such a backup plan has emerged in negotiations between the White House and Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, on whom the White House rests its hopes of finding a middle ground, according to the New York Times.