Sen. Kent Conrad's proposal to create health care cooperatives, rather than a government-sponsored insurance plan, could be a way to reach a compromise -- as long as the cooperatives are not also set up to be government-run, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) tells CBS News political consultant John Dickerson on CBSNews.com's politics Web show "Washington Unplugged."
"Setting up a cooperative along that line might be a way of compromising," says Grassley, who is the top Republican on a Senate committee responsible for health care reform. He says President Obama seems open to discussing various proposals in the reform package, incuding the co-op plan.
"But now, Senator Schumer has put some ideas into that, and quite frankly, I think that his efforts could change it so it would be interpreted as a public option," he says.
Including a government-sponsored plan, or "public option," in the plan will prove to be a litmus test for whether it gains bipartisan support, Grassley says, because his party sees it as "a back door to Canadian styled health insurance."
Grassley tells Dickerson the other obstacles standing in the way of a bipartisan bill, such as tax proposals or plans that would "ration" health care.
You can watch the interview below, as well as the rest of the show which includes interviews with filmaker Robert Kenner and author Michael Pollan about the documentary "Food, Inc." and with Kennedy Corpus of Green Bay who got a note from Mr. Obama yesterday to give to her teacher.