Proposed legislation aimed at overhauling the U.S. health care system will include a public option but will give states the choice of opting out, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "While the public option is not a silver bullet, I believe it's an important way to ensure competition and to level the playing field for patients with the insurance industry," Reid said. The Democratic leader said he will send his version of the bill to the Congressional Budget Office for an evaluation of its fiscal effects. A White House spokesman said President Barack Obama is pleased that the public option will be included in the bill.

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