Sen. Kay Hagan this morning told critics to "stay tuned" to the health care debate in Washington.
Hagan, a Democrat, talked to reporters after a visit to Charlotte's Shelter Health Services, a free clinic that provides medical services to residents of an adjacent shelter for homless women and children. Some in her own party have criticized her for appearing to take a so-called "public option" in health care reform off the table, the Charlotte Observer's Jim Morrill reports.
Many, including Democratic leaders such as Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, have put forward what's known as a "public option" provider, a federally run insurer. Hagan told the Greensboro News & Record this week that a federally run insurance program could cause companies to drop their private insurance plans and destabilize the insurance market.
"We haven’t taken a 'public option' off the table," she told reporters today. She said it depends on what that means. A member of a key Senate health committee, she said she’s working with colleagues to find a way to expand coverage, ensure quality of care and be fiscally accountable.
Critics, she said, "need to stay tuned." "People are so centered on the word 'public'," she said. "And it really depends on what’s (involved) in that."