If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em?


Robert Gibbs just issued a statement on behalf of President Obama congratulating Harry Reid for settling on a Senate bill — and notably expressing his pleasure that a public option was included: The President is “pleased that the Senate has decided to include a public option for health coverage, in this case with an allowance for states to opt out.”

A number of reports late last week, including our own, had the White House pushing back hard on Reid and Senate Democrats for wanting to include an “opt-out” public option, with the White House preferring a triggered public option. The White House denied those reports generally, but stopped short of announcing its support for an opt out provision.

So for now at least, the White House seems to be on board with Reid’s plan, as Reid himself suggested in his press conference: “As we’ve gone through this process, I’ve concluded, with the support of the White House and Senators. Dodd and Baucus, that the best way to move forward is to include a public option with an opt out provision for states.”

And the triggered public option, for the moment, appears to be off the table since Reid didn’t even submit that provision to CBO to be scored.


David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.