Speaker’s Aide Rebuts Politico Story Claiming Pelosi Has Lost Fight For Robust Public Option

Congressional Quarterly/Newscom
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Politico‘s Mike Allen has a splashy story up this morning claiming, among other things, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has concluded that she can’t pass the robust public option. But is it accurate? Not according to Pelosi’s spokesman Nadeam Elshami:

“Speculation that a final decision has been made about the public option are not accurate,” Elshami tells TPMDC. “We continue to work with all the members of the caucus to build consensus.”

As of yesterday, Pelosi was continuing to negotiate with members of her caucus who would prefer a public option that pays negotiated (as opposed to Medicare-like) rates, pointing out that a robust public option saves significantly more money than other versions, and that the savings will have to come from elsewhere if the public option isn’t strong enough.

If Pelosi’s push is not successful, it would be a blow to progressives who have insisted that the House pass a robust public option. But it appears for now that, contra Allen, the push is ongoing.

A senior House aide assures me that “the House bill will have a public option.” But the leadership did not tell progressives last night that the robust public option is off the table. The votes are still being counted.

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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