Sestak faces concern with "public option"

    Joe Sestak faced a friendly crowd in Philadelphia. But there was concern when it came to the"public option" in healthcare.

    Although Senator Arlen Specter faced jeers and taunts again during a town hall meeting on healthcare reform Wednesday, his Democratic primary opponent Congressman Joe Sestak faced a friendlier crowd in Philadelphia. But there was concern when it came to the "public option."

    0909010stethoscopebuttonMore coverage on healthcare reform.

     

    The line of people waiting to get into the meeting wrapped around the block. Union members and pro-healthcare reform groups made up the bulk of those greeting Sestak as he went in the front door.

    Sestak: What do we want? Healthcare! When do we want it? Now!

    But there was plenty of opposition in the room for the “public option.”

    Chris Hill told Sestak he’s worried it will give his employer a pass on providing healthcare.

    Hill: How can you tell me that the private option can stay in place when my employer with 29,000 employees can just turn around tomorrow and say, we’re writing it off the bottom line you guys are all going to the public option… applause

    Sestak: It mandates that the employer has to keep the healthcare plan he has for you.

    Sestak says the bill requires an employer that does not provide healthcare, to pay a fee into the public plan that’s equal to 8 percent of company payroll.

    But Hill, and others, were not convinced, and fear losing their current health insurance.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.