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. Steve

    Now there's something you don't see everyday: A Democrat with a spine.

    August 18, 2009 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  2. Dan

    If there is no public option... then there is no need for the bill.
    Obama MUST NOT cave in on this one.

    August 18, 2009 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  3. dave

    i cant believe how stupid some people are. Can't you realise that the more the costs spiral out of control especially for small and medium size small business the more business will drop health insurance coverage for their employees..all you people who have care now and are so smug about it..If things go the way they are now YOU WILL LOSE YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE THEN WHERE WILL YOU BE IF YOU GET SICK..YOU WILL BE BANKRUPT LIKE SO MANY OF YOUR NEIGHBORS .let's get real and think beyond our noses people!

    August 18, 2009 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  4. Opus X

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

    You mean all Americans except the political elite, right?

    August 18, 2009 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  5. MonRob

    Weiner is right. Dems have to grow ...

    August 18, 2009 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  6. Don

    Stimulus not really working as planned! Why should over 1000 page health reform work?

    August 18, 2009 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  7. Linda

    Thank you Rep. Weiner!

    August 18, 2009 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  8. Gerry

    His last name says it all!

    August 18, 2009 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  9. CAN'T AFFORD INSURANCE, REPUBLICANS WANT ME TO DIE!

    Thank goodness there still exists a voice of reason in Congress. I think one of the best things that could have happened was the threat of the public option choice being replaced with a co-op (it was bad enough that the single payer plan was off the table). Suddenly, the normally peaceful Dems are outraged.

    BE OUTRAGED!!! VOICE YOUR OPINIONS AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS! WE ARE THE MAJORITY, AND WE WANT A PUBLIC HEALTHCARE OPTION!!!

    August 18, 2009 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  10. al

    Rep. Weiner, I salute you! ! All democrats who voted for President Obama was excited about these ideas. Many of us have lost our jobs and have no health insurance. We NEED PUBLIC OPTION! Press on!

    Thank you.

    Al

    August 18, 2009 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  11. Brian

    We elected a DEMOCRATIC majority!

    Act like it and grow a set!

    August 18, 2009 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  12. will

    he is no "key" democrat....he is a liberal democrat.

    August 18, 2009 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  13. lindsey

    I'm not willing to accept and healthcare plan that those in Congress won't accept for themselves and their family. The liberal representatives are pushing for a public option that will eventually dominate the market, but I promise most of them, if not all, will continue to use their wealth and/or special status as legislators to circumvent the system they set in place because they want better care than their own system provides.

    August 18, 2009 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  14. peterclarke

    Now Obama-Care is considering Government financed co-operative non-profit health care insurance programs. This in itself is might be a good move, but it does raise a number of questions that need answers.

    Like is the Government going to fund these co-operative non-profits out of our taxes?

    If they are funded through taxes, like those companies who asked for and took the tarp money they will be subject to how the money is spend and what health services will be paid for and who will be calling the shots?. Government unelected bureaucrats and political czars or patience’s and their doctors?

    When or if these non-profits were to go bankrupt, would we the tax payers have to bail them out, like was done with Banks and Auto sector?

    So is it really a move away from a socialized universal health care or just another way for the Government to come in with dismantling the current health care insurance programs through the back door with these Government and tax payer funded non-profit health care insurance programs?.

    August 18, 2009 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  15. farhorizons

    Thank you, Rep. Weiner! It's about time some Democrats started standing up.

    August 18, 2009 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  16. Right Leaning Independent

    Weiner Boy obviously is obviously not hearing that the American Public overwhelmingly do not want the public option. But like most politicians he believes that he knows better and will try to ram this down our throats. Vote him out next time for not listening!!!!

    August 18, 2009 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  17. Joel W

    What Weiner and his band of Socialist don't seem to understand is that Obama will have a difficult time pushing health care reform through the House WITH a govt-run option. Why are guys like Weiner hell-bent on bankrupting the country and subverting the principles that founded this nation??

    August 18, 2009 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  18. howie

    I have listened to this guy on CSPAN and I can tell you this guy is an idiot. Happy that he doesn't represent my district. This is the guy who wants single payer??????

    August 18, 2009 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I want to see these democratic congressman play hard ball and not accept a plan without a public option.

    August 18, 2009 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. Unemployed for too long

    This man unashamedly states his ideas on healthcare reform. Or perhaps I should say he points out the obvious. His observation that insurance adds no value to the equation is clear to many. I have worked (when I was lucky enough to have a job) for several companies which self insured. If there were anything of value offered by insurance companies, they would have used the "subscribe to insurance" option. The rest of the problem is in the realm of greed and fraud within the medical and pharma industries. Let's not forget to target these vampires too as we search for justice for Americans.

    August 18, 2009 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  21. Vigla

    That's right. Do not pass anythuig without a public option. What's everyone afraid of? That's we'll maybe be on par with the rest of the world and maybe we can compete with labor abroad? Keep in mind that almost every other country has public health and public pension. Their companies do not have to foot that bill. The taxes they have to pay are much less than what we are paying. So that makes us uncompetitive and jobs go overseas. WAKE UP everybody! If we don't do this now, the only jobs that will be left here will be low paying jobs with no benefits.

    SINGLE PAYER is the best with the option for people to purchase private supplemental insurance if they wish. The fear mongering has to end.

    August 18, 2009 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  22. chill

    Congrssman, if it won't pass the Senate, what's the point? We need the rest of the reforms that are included in the bill, even if we don't get a semi-public option. You're no different than the the Repubs who would flush the whole thing. Get over this ideological crap and get something passed!

    August 18, 2009 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  23. JOBLESS IN IOWA

    look at his eyes, this guy is as crooked as they come, he was probably a peeon in college and now he has some power so he wants to use it. Its time for crooked people like this to be voted out of office.
    THIS CROOK WORKS FOR YOU, SO FIRE HIM.

    August 18, 2009 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  24. Anonymous

    It is 100% right that the only true way to provide health care is a single payer non-profit system and the sooner people realize that the better off we all will be.

    This does not mean you do not pay premiums just that your money goes toward your health care not multimillion $ salaries/bonuses to insurance executives or toward dividends for shareholders, trying to make a profit off your health, or toward insurance companies' private jets.

    Non-profit does not mean government run. It means your money goes toward health care not toward the above unnecessary overhead thereby decreasing your premiums or increasing your coverage.

    People open your eyes and ears and demand a single payer non-profit.

    August 18, 2009 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  25. Nuts

    Obamacare is a death panel.
    Kill the bill.

    August 18, 2009 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
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