House Progressive: White House Could Lose 100 Votes If It Scraps Public Option

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Via Firedoglake comes the below clip of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)–a single-payer advocate–who says the White House could lose up to 100 votes in the House if the public option gets stripped from health care reform.

“The President does seem like he’s moving away from the public plan,” Weiner said, “and if he does, he’s not going to pass a bill. Because there are just too many people in Washington who believe that the public plan was the only way that you effectively bring some downward pressure on prices.“I think there’s probably a hundred members of the House, who believe for various reasons that you need to have something to bring down prices,” Weiner added, positing that co-ops won’t cut it. “If you don’t have a public plan…you basically have what you have today just with more people covered.”

If you have a co-op plan that isn’t really tethered into anything in particular, all you’re really going to have is a group of people who’s going to have to recruit doctors to come in and they’re going to do it by offering higher reimbursement rates.

Weiner has in recent weeks become a surrogate for the public option in the House. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he called Republicans on their bluff, offering an amendment that would have eliminated Medicare–a single-payer, government run health care system, which Republicans say, in principle, they oppose. The amendment was defeated unanimously.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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