Public insurer support fading
Leading moderates in both parties have retreated further from the government-backed health insurance option, echoing the argument from President Obama that the issue had been overblown and that alternatives, such as private nonprofit cooperatives, might be acceptable. Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, said the issue had become a "distraction" and Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, voiced support for a public option but said Democrats should keep the big picture in mind. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, a Republican from Maine, said the public option is politically out of the question.
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