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Democrats, GOP draw battle lines on healthcare plan

Boston Globe, March 16, 2009
Democrats and Republicans are battling over whether the government should establish a Medicare-style public insurance option for people under 65. Top Republican senators declared in a letter to President Obama that they would oppose any healthcare bill with a public plan because it would force insurers to compete on an "unlevel playing field" with the government, which could theoretically set artificially low prices and subsidize any shortfalls with taxpayers' money. The issue will be among the most difficult Obama will have to address as he seeks a sweeping healthcare overhaul.