In an exclusive interview with TPMDC this afternoon, former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe said that from his vantage point, the public option is likely dead in the health care debate.
In the past, McAuliffe has said
he any bill without a public option would be a failure. Today, though, he said he'd support a compromise bill because "we've got to pass something."
McAuliffe spoke with TPMDC before he heads out on the campaign trail next week for fellow Democrat Creigh Deeds, who defeated McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial primary. McAuliffe touched on a number of subjects, including the Virginia race (more on that in a later post.)
Asked about the chances for a public option now that health care reform bills have reached the floor in both houses of Congress, McAuliffe -- an ardent supporter of expanding government-run care as part of health care reform -- said he he wouldn't bet on one being part of a final bill.
"Probably not, no," he said. "I wish we could have a public option, but I'm also a realist."
McAuliffe said he still believes a public option is the best way to fix heath care. "I think it would be more efficient, I think it would be better for business, more cost effective and you'd have a better quality of care," he said, "but you know, they've got to get a bill out."
He lamented his prediction saying of the Democratic majority and the health care debate, "we're never going to get another chance to do this like this."
"This is a democracy," he said. "They're in there [members of Congress] and they're compromising. I'm hopeful we could have a public option, but would I bet everything on it? Of course not, no."