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State's Top Dems Endorse "Public Option" in Federal Health Reform
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While President Obama spent his day trying to sell his health plan to doctors, Congressman Murphy was in Hartford emphatically declaring reform a political reality this year.

"The stars are aligned, this year, both in Washington and in Connecticut, to deliver before the year is over, affordable health care for every single resident of the United States of America."

Murphy sits on the House Commerce Committee, which handles health care reform legislation

He said two bills passed by the General Assembly this session provide good examples for a federal overhaul. One bill would create a framework for universal heath care with a plan called Sustinet. The other would open up the state employee health pool to nonprofits, municipalities and small businesses.

"Building on what the state legislature has done with its pooling bill and the elements of the Sustinet bill, we are looking in our health reform measure at trying to use the power of our Medicare pool and make those discounts available to more Americans."

Those two Connecticut bills aren't law yet, though. First, they have to go through Governor Jodi Rell. She has said she has concerns about their timing and eventual cost, but not whether she will veto them.

Speaker Chris Donovan said there's support in the House to get around a veto, but he was more tempered about predicting an override's success. 

"If we have the votes to override, we certainly will. If we don't, the fight continues." 

Speaker Donovan was among 132 Democratic state lawmakers who wrote a letter to President Obama, supporting the proposal to create a new public insurance plan to compete with private insurers. Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Comptroller Nancy Wyman, and Treasurer Denise Nappier also signed the letter.