August 18th, 2009
05:33 PM ET
5 years ago

House Democrat: 'Terrible miscalculation' to skip public option

Rep. Eliot Engel told Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that he believes it would be a 'terrible miscalculation' to pass health care reform without a public option.
Rep. Eliot Engel told Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that he believes it would be a 'terrible miscalculation' to pass health care reform without a public option.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee in Congress said Tuesday that he would "have to think long and hard" about voting in favor of a health care bill that did not include a public option.

"I'd have to think long and hard, I'd have to see if it moved health care forward," New York Rep. Eliot Engel told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "...I think it would be a terrible miscalculation if we didn't have a public option."

Engel called nonprofit health cooperatives, or "co-ops" - which are being proposed as an alternative - "untested," and said that he needs proof that they would help to lower costs.

The administration has faced criticism from the left in recent days over statements that seemed to indicate a willingness to drop a public option in the final bill. Engel said "nothing is changed" and that he believes President Obama continues to support the inclusion of a public option.


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