House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Photo: Talk Radio News / Flickr)
Though dropping a robust public plan from the legislation might rein in centrist Democrats and avoid a filibuster, liberal House members are disappointed by the rumors after a period of increased confidence as to Pelosi’s ability to secure the votes needed to support the strongest public option.
The reports, originally released by Mike Allen of Politico, attributed the statement that she could not pass a “robust public option” to Pelosi, following her count of the House votes available and a private White House meeting.
Pelosi disputed this statement Friday morning following a meeting of House Democrats, saying, "By no means is the count complete or has the decision been made."
"We had a very congenial - is that the word for a caucus? - a very lively, friendly caucus this morning where we are continuing to count the votes on this,” Pelosi said. “A robust public option is the preferred way to go because it saves the most money - $110 billion. At the end of the day, we will have a public option in this legislation to keep the insurance companies honest and to provide real competition. Again, it's good, better, best. We're having that debate."An official quoted anonymously by Politico, however, was not convinced.
“Votes aren’t there,” the official was quoted as saying. “The progressives are always more optimistic than reality.”