August 18th, 2009
12:14 PM ET
5 years ago

House Democrat: Health care bill in doubt without public plan

 Rep. Anthony Weiner said Monday that President Obama will have a 'very difficult' time getting a health care bill passed without a public option.
Rep. Anthony Weiner said Monday that President Obama will have a 'very difficult' time getting a health care bill passed without a public option.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A liberal Democrat in Congress told CNN Monday that President Obama will have a difficult time pushing his health care plan through the House if a government-run insurance program isn't included in the legislation.

Asked if he would vote against a final House bill that doesn't include a so-called public option, Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that House Democrats "wouldn't even bring it to the floor."

"In the House of Representatives, without a strong public plan, even stronger than the one we reported out of committee, I think it would have a very difficult time getting 218 votes," Weiner said.

"Look, the president has to lead on this, and he has to say very clearly a public option is important," Weiner said. "That we hold these insurance companies accountable and provide some competition. I would love to be the one carrying the ball for him, but unless he says a public option is the way to go, I'm going to be a No [vote], and so are a lot of people."

Weiner maintained that the "best" health care option would be "a single-payer plan, like Medicare for all Americans."


Filed under: Anthony Weiner • Health care • President Obama
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Millie Bea

    Weiner- you are pandering for votes. If you think the best care option is Medicare- why don't you and your colleagues give up your care for a couple of years and live by Medicare's rules- then give the tax payers a call.

    August 18, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Ryan Wing

    A bill without a public option is just lip service, like most other bills.

    August 18, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. Bob H

    Good for Weiner.

    No public option = No reform.

    August 18, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. jfs Memhis, Tn

    There has to be a public option...........it is the only way that health reform will be inclusive of all Americans. Not all will stay in such a program forever...it will be a transtional insurance for most.

    August 18, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. No "Public Option"

    Kill the public option! Put a stake in its heart and make it go away forever. Let the far left cry all they want.

    August 18, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Rob

    He actually said "the "best" health care option would be "a single-payer plan, like Medicare for all Americans." ??

    Wow.

    And he's representing who? He clearly does NOT understand what's going on, nor can he see anything other than his own idealistic world. What he thinks would be the best plan would be an absolute DISASTER for the United States, and thankfully the overwhelming majority of people (and the VAST majority of informed people) realize that.

    August 18, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. andrewstl

    that is just what obama wantes to take pressure off him and put pressure on blue dogs. this guy is a genius. all you haters will have to get used to him. obama should be considered to be able to run for 3 rd term

    August 18, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Cromwell

    Weiner is right.
    Without a Public Option, a Healthcare bill is a farce.

    Trying to appease the Republicans only encourages them to block any type of reform. Appeasement never works.

    Pelosi and Harry Reid should join Weiner and demand a Public Option.

    August 18, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Meredith

    Mr. Weiner can threaten to vote "no" all he wants. I, for one, will vote no if the president does try to force Americans into a government-run insurance or healthcare plan. I do not want government telling me what doctor to visit, how much to pay him, and when my grandmother will be considered "expendable" by government health care beauracrats. The government can't even run the economy right now and they want us to believe they can fix healthcare??? hahahahahaha. That's a good one!

    August 18, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. George

    We need a public option. Pass it democrats. Right now the republicans would vote against God. Do it without the ignorant that want the USA to fail for their own political gains. Party over country.

    August 18, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. andrea

    A reform without a strong public option is a phony reform. This is an issue of principle and the president must not falter. Let's all support the public option and if the reform fails in the senate, let history judge the culprits.

    August 18, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Hmmm....

    That man would not get my vote.

    August 18, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Maria - Proud Democrat

    Congress should not be pushing for a Public Health Care Plan they themselves are not willing to join.

    Why can't we have the same Health Care plan Congress has?

    If the Public Option Plan is so great why isn't Congress being placed on that plan?

    My fellow Democratic Congressmen and women need to lead by example and agree to opt out of their current health care plan and switch over to the Public Health Care option being proposed.

    The Hypocrisy of it all is so sickening.......

    August 18, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Dave

    Breaking news: the Obama administration has admited to sending unsolicited E-mails and has shut down their snitch site. Kudos to Fox News and Major Garrett for doing their journalistic job and asking the questions that got the White Houst to stop this intrusive program.

    August 18, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Nicole

    At least someone is standing true to what the believe is best for the country–not their reelection!

    August 18, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Torch

    Here's an example of a New York Liberal democrat. If there's no socialism in the bill, then he's out!

    In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, they just can't help themselves, they want the trainwreck that is public option or single payer. They know the train will crash, but in their ultra-liberal-ness they need to feel good about themselves by giving another entitlement to the their fat, free loading constituents.

    August 18, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. JP

    Private insurance already subsidizes medical care providers for the low rates that current government medical programs pay. Only a fool would believe a government run plan would not destroy private insurance plans. One thing everyone should fear is that if the government destroys private insurance plans and sets rates to low who will want to enter the medical profession. Ask you evected official why to the trial lawyers get a free pass on all the proposed bills which have no medical malpractice reform.

    August 18, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Billy J Texas

    This guy is right. I don't see any folks on medicare asking to take it back. The insurance companies can provide the extra coverage folks want just like they do for medicare.

    August 18, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Classy 57

    All this Congress should be doing is researching health plans and insurance companies and listening to the folks who elected them to do a job for all Americans, young, old, healthy, ill, republican or democrat.
    This health bill should be reforming the laws that allow insurance companies to raise rates, refuse customers with pre-existing conditions, refuse payment of all treatments requested by physicians.
    We do not need or want a public health bill that will insure millions of illegals or folks who do not want insurance.

    August 18, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. Neiki

    In what language would you prefer President Obama speak? Because obviously plain English is not being comprehended by these radicals. My Goodness, how much more plain does he have to say it?!? He wants EVERYONE to be able to afford healthcare without pre-existing conditions or wage scale preventing them. Why do they insist on making it so complicated? DUH!!!!!

    August 18, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. Hella Betts

    I agree with Rep. Weiner. As a Republican and a small business owner of 13 employees I would vote for a "single player"program. I find it very difficult now to pay our preimuns as they increase by 14-22% very year.

    August 18, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. RichM

    No retreat. No comprimise. Ram it down their throats and do some good for the American people.

    August 18, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. just.thomas

    excellent . I agree with Weiner

    August 18, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. gasmd

    Universal health care is important. However, you still need to change the way physicians get paid. Right now the docs are getting paid for what they do to the patients. The more they do, the more they get paid by the insurance and medicare. However, these do not necessarily translate to better patient outcome.

    Even if we get a public option, if you do not address how you pay the health care provider, you will just end up with another system like medicare that has so much fraud and abuse. We as a nation cannot afford it.

    August 18, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. James M. Holmes

    About time a Dem comes to the table with his backbone intact!

    Thank you... now if more Dems would wake up to the reality that acting "Republican -Lite" shows weakness and it isn't what the American people voted for... or respect!

    Mark my words... All Blue Dog Dems up for re-election in 2010 will go down if this bill doesn't go through... all the two-fisted liberals like Rep. Weiner will be re-elected by large margins!

    August 18, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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