INDIANOLA, Iowa - Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin predicts Congress will approve a health care reform bill this fall that includes a public option, saying a "silent majority" of Americans favor such an overhaul.
Speaking with reporters Sunday at a Democratic fundraiser, Harkin promised passage of "a bill before we go home for Christmas." He says the measure will include a government insurance option.
Harkin's views have grown in importance since he was named chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee after the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Harkin says there is little political risk in backing health care reform and that the real danger is opposing changes.
He contends "there is a silent majority all over America that understands we need health care reform and we need it now."