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Public option may be dropped from final healthcare bill, December 29, 2009

House Democrats are signaling that a final healthcare bill will drop the government-run public health insurance option. Supporters of a public option say it would provide nonprofit competition to private insurers that would bring down costs, but opponents contend that it is the first step toward a government takeover of the healthcare system. President Obama has expressed general support for a public option but stops short of insisting on the provision.