Senator Lindsey Graham became the latest Republican and most conservative Senator yet to express a willingness to consider a compromise approach to health care reform based around co-ops providing insurance coverage.
The South Carolina Republican, appearing on ABC's "This Week," set a firm line in the sand when discussing the creation of a public option for insurance, insisting that such a proposal would not pass the United States Senate.
"The reason you are not going to have a government-run health care pass the Senate is because it will be devastating for this country," he said. "The last thing in the world I think that Democrats and Republicans will do at the end of the day is create a government-run health care system."
Later in the program, however, Graham offered what his co-panelist Sen. Chris Dodd and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich (who appeared later in the show) both viewed as openness to compromise. A system of state-based co-ops -- which would be run as non-profit entities, subject to private insurance rules, and operating out of the premiums paid by its members -- could be an adequate substitute for a public plan, he said.
"I think this idea needs to go away," Graham said of a public plan, "and replace it with something maybe like [Senator] Kent Conrad's proposal."