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Health Policy Expert Assesses Public Plan Options

All of the health care bills that have passed committee votes on Capitol Hill this summer include some form of public, government-run insurance plan. But a bipartisan panel from the Senate Finance Committee, which is still negotiating its version of a health care reform bill, has reportedly dropped the public plan in favor of setting up private, nonprofit insurance cooperatives instead.

Kenneth Thorpe, chairman of the health policy department at Emory University, talks with NewsHour health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser about his take on how a public plan would work and how it might affect doctors, hospitals and consumers.