August 17th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
5 years ago

Pelosi: 'Strong support' for public option in House

 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there is still 'strong support' for the public option.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there is still 'strong support' for the public option.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As President Obama seemed to signal that a public insurance plan would not be a make-or-break issue for his health care proposal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday there is still "strong support" among her colleagues for it to be included in the final bill.

Quoting the president saying in March that a public option "gives consumers more choices and it helps keep the private sector honest," Pelosi said that three versions of health care legislation in the House all include it.

"We agree with the President that a public option will keep insurance companies honest and increase competition," Pelosi said in a statement. "A public option is the best option to lower costs, improve the quality of health care, ensure choice and expand coverage. "The public option brings real reform to lower costs over the 10-year period of the bill."

On Saturday, Obama said that a public option is "just one sliver" of his health care plan.

"All I'm saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform," Obama said at a town hall meeting on Saturday in Colorado. "This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it."


Filed under: Health care • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Ren from Baltimore

    I agree with a public option. This the only way to keep these out-of-control insurance freaks out of control of our country's future, our health, our families.

    August 17, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Cincy RN

    It doesn't happen often, but I have to agree with Howard Dean (Dr. Dean) on this one. There truly is no healthcare reform without the public option in it. Period. The co-ops are purely a waste of time and money. If they had worked we'd already be using them. If we don't get the public option, I may just vote Republican....this is truly a disappointment to those of us who need healthcare.

    August 17, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Mike in MN

    Polls show that over 50% of voters do not want a public option.
    There may be enough support in the House for a public option, but there is not in the Senate. Something will have to give. My guess in the end a majority polling of voters will have a lot to say about it.

    August 17, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. Boycotts Work

    No Option=No reelection

    August 17, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Proud Member..Party of No

    In 2009, 40% percent of respondents in Gallup surveys said that they are either “conservative” (31%) or “very conservative” (9%). That is the highest percentage in any year since 2004.

    Only 21% have told Gallup they are liberal, including 16% who say they are “liberal” and 5% who say they are “very liberal.”

    August 17, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. Army vet too...

    Thank you Madam Speaker. If only the senate leader had the guts you do.

    August 17, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Carole

    You Go Girl!!!!!

    Nancy has bigger equipment than the boys like Backus, Conrad and the likes.

    August 17, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Lets hope the Option stays in.We wont consider anything less.

    August 17, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Pam

    No matter what is put in this bill or taken out of this bill, republicans in Congress are not going to vote for it. So screw them, leave the public option in and push it through!

    August 17, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Kelby In Houston, Texas

    I agree with Ren from Baltimore. We need a public option. This will provide competition for insurance companies who are price gouging. This will also lower prices of pharmaceutical medications. Health care should be a right, not a privilege.
    And we cannot allow Lies and fear to rule in America. When the first casualty is the truth, there can be no victor

    August 17, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Rush Goebbels

    Dont listen to the paid Street Teamers on here,We need the public option now.

    August 17, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    Only Nancy Pelosi could say with a straight face that creating a government bureaucracy is the best option for saving cost.
    Maybe she didn't realize how stupid that would sound until after it came out.

    Worse yet, maybe she actually believes that. :o

    August 17, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Bill

    Go Pelosi Go.

    We Support You. Have the Bill passed anyway. Apply the Filibuster.

    Put all the Health Insurance Mafia Guys in Jail.

    These Scoundrels and Criminals are worst than Terrorists.

    Put all these Health Insurance Terrorists in Jail.

    Put all these brothers of Madoff in Jail.

    August 17, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. Deuce

    I guess her support was also enemic. CNN???

    August 17, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. Tennessee Libertarian

    Ms. Speaker,

    It doesn't make a hill of beans what the "house" thinks, it is obvious that the People do not want the "Public option"–

    "...governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government..."

    Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence

    Did you ever read this, Madame Speaker? How about Atlas Shrugged?

    How about Term Limits? Interesting what happens to the Speaker in that book, when the Speaker said the American people wanted a budget they obviously didn't.

    Not wearing a brown-shirt here.

    August 17, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Obama Victim

    public option will lose the Dems a lot of seats....and neuter Obozo.......be careful what you wish for

    August 17, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. linda

    Pelosi is a compete scumbag. She is evil to the core and a total fraud. I hope she is stopped. She is intent on destroying America.

    August 17, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. AJ

    Obama is a revolting human being so I dont have much hope that he will do the right thing for healthcare. There can be no "reform" without a public option so olets hope he stands his gound. Doubtful though.

    August 17, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  19. Rita OHIO

    The polls seem not to include the entire picture. It only includes the LOUDEST voices like these spectacles at the town halls.

    We need a public option!

    August 17, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Obama then: It must pass right away.
    Umbama now: I meant it to take this long.

    Obama then: public option is important
    Umbama now: public option is tiny thing

    Obama then: love single payer
    Umbama now: don't like single payer

    Has anyone figured out where he stands on anything???

    August 17, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. Unemployed for too long

    The public option is the only one which will not result in a costly AND ineffectual program. When it comes to those who support the greed of profit seeking insurance companies and their enormously overpaid executives,,, Hey,, Ted Bundy had 200 letters a day from infatuated fools,,, At least he killed without pretending to be helpful.

    August 17, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Keith in Austin

    Ramming a healthcare bill with a mandated public option equals no re-election! Pelosi is a radical left wing bubblehead that knows that she will never see a re-election. Her motives are socialistic and ideologic. She does not represent the majority of the American people but rather,her personal ambition for Big Government control and her Tax and Spend liberal agenda!

    August 17, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. stormerF

    I think American Tax Payers are getting Compassion Fatigue,with all these ideas that we must help everybody,every where all the time. I for one am not in favor of having to pay for someone else and their health care. What's next will we have to furnish car insurance for those who do not want to pay for theirs?Then will it be issue those who can not afford to drive a gasoline card at the Tax Payers expense? When the hell will it stop?

    August 17, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  24. Karen

    TERM LIMITS! TERM LIMITS! TERM LIMITS! TERM LIMITS!
    You go girl is correct, you go right back to California and STAY!

    August 17, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  25. Stu

    Government keep out. Enough is enough. Folks, you have the option to set up medical savings accounts (tax benefit) and pay your doctors directly! No mean old insurance company denying benefits. Most doctors charge 1/2 price or less when there is no insurance co. to bill. For major illness....get AFLAC or similar plans.

    If we create another pool of taxpayer money congress will mess it up just like social security and medicaire.

    To answer "A's" question, yes, I'd gladly opt out of Social Security and forego any benefits instead of throwing about over 13% of my earnings on a failed system.

    August 17, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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