Sherrod Brown Calls GOP's Bluff on Health Reform; Ruins Cheap Partisanship of Vitter, Coburn

Watching the Senate debate health care reform this week has been pretty frustrating. We've seen enough obstructionism, lying, and grandstanding to last quite a while, and the chamber is just getting started.


But for all the annoyances, there's been at least some entertainment. Take this story, for example.

Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and David Vitter (R-La.) are preparing an amendment to force members of Congress into any public option health plan that becomes law, frustrating at least one Senate Democrat who wants to join the effort.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) said he is trying to co-sponsor the amendment -- but that Coburn and Vitter won't let him.

Apparently, Coburn and Vitter, two of the most right-wing members of the chamber, think they have a clever scheme to stick it to those rascally Democrats. "They want a public option so bad?" the argument goes. "We'll show them -- we'll force them to get coverage through a public plan!"

Brown thinks that's a great idea, which basically takes away all of Coburn's and Vitter's fun.

"They've not said yes to allow me to be a co-sponsor," Brown told The Hill on Thursday. "I've called their office four times. I'm proud of the public option, I think it would be great and we ought to join it and show the country how good it is. I think my interest may be more genuine than theirs, but I'd like to work with them if they'll let me. If they just want to score partisan points, I still want to work with them."

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