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Liberal Activists Say Senators ‘Bargained Away Heart of Health Reform’

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that helped spearhead town hall protests against the health care plan last August, issued a release titled, “Reid’s public option compromise places politics over patients.” The group along with other conservative organizations are planning a Tuesday rally at the Capitol.While estimates show the proposed public option would likely be used by a small fraction of Americans, it has drawn outsized attention from both opponents and proponents of health care reform.“It is highly emotional and sometimes radioactive,” said Jim Dau, a spokesman for the senior citizens advocacy group AARP.Dau said AARP has not been involved in the Senate negotiations over substitutes for the public health insurance plan.“We are happy to look at it when it is in writing,” he said.Dau said the seniors group wanted to see more fleshed-out details on various aspects such as the Medicare buy-in, which could affect the group’s membership.Dau said allowing people 55 or older to buy into Medicare could work well “if done the right way.” But he warned it could also “make Medicare a national de facto high-risk [insurance] pool.”

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