WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned her Senate counterparts Thursday that she intends to fight hard for a government-run health care plan as part of any comprehensive overhaul bill.
Pelosi's adamant defense of the politically polarizing public option puts her on a potential collision course with the Senate Finance Committee, which dropped the idea from its sweeping $827 billion proposal.
Democratic Senate leaders have not yet indicated if they will include the option when they combine the Finance Committee's legislation with a separate measure advanced by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
If the House and Senate manage to pass health care reform bills, a conference committee would then negotiate a final version requiring approval from both chambers before going to President Barack Obama for his signature.
"I want our conferees to have the most muscle for the middle class whenthey go to the table (to negotiate with the Senate)," Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill.
"Why would "you throw (people) into the lion's den of the insurance industry without the leverage" of a public option, she asked. "Our House position is what we will go in there to fight for."
Several top Democrats - including Pelosi - have questioned whether it is possible to contain spiraling medical costs without creating a public option to serve as a check on private insurers.
Republicans and some conservative Democrats oppose the government-run insurance option, saying it would drive private insurers from the market and eventually bring a government takeover of the health care system.
Maine GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe - the lone Republican to vote for the Finance Committee bill - has expressed her strong opposition to a public option.
Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, has repeatedly said the Senate cannot muster the 60 votes necessary to cut off a potential filibuster if it tries to pass legislation including a public option.
She needs to just retire and go away, maybe get some more plastic surgery or somethng.
I can't wait until this plastic-faced witch gets ousted! Our country will be far better off once the left gets throttled in 2010 and the incompetent obama gets slammed out in 2012!
Pelosi. Looking at her I can't think of a better arguement for euthenasia than her being Speaker.
Good for her! I love Nancy Pelosi. She's got more balls than 99% of the men in Congress! Which of course, is why the Repugnants hate her...that, and the fact that she's woman. Heh! You go, Nancy! And give a message to all those limp, lame "men" in Congress...No Public Option is No Deal!!
She is so out of touch with what the American people don't want. Botox must have gone to her brain.
We need the public option to put some pressure on the GREEDY insurance companies. Please hang tough on this issue.
Look at the picture of the Dems deciding the healthcare future for everyone. All I have heard is the problem with the past government was that it was just a bunch of old white guys, now tell me-– what has changed?
No matter what name Pelosi and her counterpart in the Senate, Harry Reid, want to give to the government run option (public option, e.g.), it should NOT happen. The government runs social security and continues to drain funding from it to pay for their pork barrel projects. The government runs Medicare and the "donut hole" is enough to cause some senior citizens to stop their medications. And now, if they get their teeth into the healthcare system, we will be in the same fix as Europe and other nations which have socialized medicine....fewer doctors, fewer hospitals, fewer specialities. Only the very wealthy will get the best of care. While I believe that insurance companies are only speaking out because they fear a loss of profit and that there should be some restraints on their actions, I also believe that anything "government run" is definitely NOT the answer!
Ask Pelosi why she is against posting the bill on the internet for the American public to read for 72 hrs prior to congress voting on it.
If the "blue dogs of the senate try to derail a viable public option I hope Reid uses the 51 vote option and then we get out ever single "blue dog."
As much as I despise the Republicans; unfortunately they do stick together.
If the Democrats would just do the same a lot of good could be done.
We really should be getting single payer non-profit universal health care now not worrying if we will even get a non-profit public option.
Pelosi is an arrogant witch! We need to get her out of Congress! She could care less about her countrymen – only herself and her bank account!
There must be an option for people if there is an individual mandate.
Medicare part E, E for everybody, will drive the rates of health insurance down through the proven method of competition.
And get rid of the exclusion to anti-trust laws that the health insurance companies have been enjoying and abusing for over 40 years!
Keep dreaming Nancy.
A public option will only raise taxes and increase the national debt.
Stealing money from Medicare is pointless since it is already going broke anyway. The government has had DECADES (longer than the Bush years for you individuals who only think this mess was created just in the past 8 years) to fix it and failed. What makes you think you can fix it now?
So in the end, the money will have to come from higher taxes and it will only benefit those people who don't pay any federal taxes.
Sorry, but we don't need another poorly run, under funded government welfare program.
BIMBO PELOSI, is an incompetent idiot.
Her interest in govt is to fight the GOP rather than do something right.
We can thank the democratic house for the various financial fiasco's
that have bankrupted the tax payer, Its very easy to grab that thick brown envelope under the table and smile all the way to the off shore bank account..
Keep the pressure on! Do not agree to any bill that does not include a strong Public Option, PERIOD!
Why should I as a consumer care if an insurance company can't make a go of it? What do they do that makes my health care any better? I'm tired of spending $500 per month on insurance and if the governent can offer me a better deal, I would take it. Even a $50 per month saving is $600 per year that is in my pocket and not in some insurance company's bank account.
At least with a government run plan, we can vote the management out if we aren't happy. You can't do that with a private company.