Monday, August 17, 2009

President Backs Away From Public Option

It looks like Obama is willing to compromise on the public option part of the health care legislation.
President Barack Obama and his top aides are signaling that they’re prepared to drop a government insurance option from a final health-reform deal if that’s what’s needed to strike a compromise on Obama’s top legislative priority.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday that the public option was “not the essential element” of the overhaul. A day earlier, Obama downplayed the public option during a Colorado town hall meeting, saying it was “just one sliver” of the debate.

This could change and we could be getting a "let me clarify what Kathleen Sebelius said" statement from the WH.

UPDATE: Well, that didn't take long. Just as I suspected with this incompetent WH, they are now saying Sebelius "misspoke".

An administration official said tonight that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "misspoke" when she told CNN this morning that a government run health insurance option "is not an essential part" of reform. This official asked not to be identified in exchange for providing clarity about the intentions of the President. The official said that the White House did not intend to change its messaging and that Sebelius simply meant to echo the president, who has acknowledged that the public option is a tough sell in the Senate and is, at the same time, a must-pass for House Democrats, and is not, in the president's view, the most important element of the reform package.

A second official, Linda Douglass, director of health reform communications for the administration, said that President Obama believed that a public option was the best way to reduce costs and promote competition among insurance companies, that he had not backed away from that belief, and that he still wanted to see a public option in the final bill.

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