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AP Sources: Democrats Reach Deal To Drop Public Option From Health Bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says liberal and moderate Democrats have reached a "broad agreement" on whether to include a government-run insurance option in the health care overhaul bill.

He's not providing details, but several officials say it's being dropped. In its place, they say Democrats have tentatively settled on a private insurance arrangement that would be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the system through which lawmakers purchase coverage.

They say the deal also calls for Medicare to be opened to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55. That would be a significant expansion of the government health care program that currently serves those 65-and-older.

The developments followed a Senate floor vote in which abortion opponents failed to insert tougher restrictions into the bill.


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