June 18th, 2009
03:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Pelosi: There will be public option in House health care bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/18/art.pelosihand0618.gi.jpg caption="House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted Thursday the House will pass a bill that includes a government run health care option to compete with private insurers."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed snags in Senate health care reform negotiations and insisted Thursday the House will pass a bill that includes a government run health care option to compete with private insurers.

"I have every confidence that we will have a public option coming out of the House of Representatives," Pelosi said at her weekly press conference.

Pelosi made it clear that a government run insurance plan is a central piece of the bill being drafted by House Democrats. "I'm saying we will have a public option in the House that will be real. If it's not real, it's no use doing. And if we don't do a public option, I'm not sure that we have as effective a public health care reform as we wished."

Without giving any details on how House Democrats will pay for their plan, the Speaker repeated her commitment that health care reform will not add to the deficit. She downplayed this week's Congressional Budget Office cost estimate of the bill being considered by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. That estimate showed the cost at $1 trillion and said millions of Americans would remain uninsured. Pelosi said that CBO's estimate applied to a bill that "is a separate subject from what the legislation that we will put forth in the House."

Filed under: Health care • House • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. marlene

    The most recent polling shows that over 75% of those polled want the public option in the health care reform plan. Thank goodness for those Democrats that understand this and will respect the wishes of the American people.

    June 18, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Thank you Madamme Speaker. Put everything on the table. The insurance giants are trembling in their 3 piece suits.

    June 18, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    If Pelosi thinks it's right, it has to be wrong.

    June 18, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. jAYjAY

    GO Pelosi!!!....
    I honor the way you fight for us no matter what polls or hypocritical republicans say or do.
    stay strong

    June 18, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Once You Vote Black: PUMA where are you?

    There is nothing wrong with a little competition. At present local community health centers and county health centers compete with private hospitals, the local employment office competes with temp agencies, and public school competes with private schools. Give the people the options. If the private insurance is better they will survive.

    June 18, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. phoenix86

    The Pelosi/Obama Health Care Plan:

    Step 1: Include Public "Option"
    Step 2: Law establishing mandate that every individual have coverage
    Step 3: Eliminate tax deduction for employer funded health care
    Step 4: Businesses eliminate employer funded health care
    Step 5: Single Payer created
    Step 6: Implement policies designed to make Americans healthier to reduce costs.

    The goal is a single payer system as Obama TOLD the AMA (though CNN and the press edited out this part of his speech).

    The outcome will be healthcare rationing for anyone not able to afford private medical treatment.

    The Obama / Pelosi assault on American individual liberties continues as full pace.

    June 18, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. reason it out

    "Without giving any details on how House Democrats will pay for their plan, the Speaker repeated her commitment that health care reform will not add to the deficit."

    Then I will wait for that detail before evaluating the plan.

    And I assume that, in the name of governmental transparency, we will be given those details in time to have public discussion of the plan before it is voted on by Congress.

    June 18, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. Tate

    Why would anybody listen to this lier and traitor. She should be sent to gitmo and take her plastic face with her. Is she or any other democrat going to give up there health plan that we pay for them? This woman is a complete and total idiot.

    June 18, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Mississippi Mike

    Democrats are sowing the seeds of their own demise. The public doesn't want the government to scale back their health care, raise taxes and run doctors out of business but forcing them to accept insufficient payments to cover their costs. A policy this unpopular is guaranteed to cause more headaches for Democrats than re-elections.

    June 18, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. phoenix86


    Will this package cover illegal aliens as well? Tell the truth for once.

    June 18, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Jeanine Thollman

    Pelosi, you know as well as we citizens that the US can't afford this as we are at bankruptcy's door now. What's wrong with you?

    June 18, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. arlene,CA

    I am hoping for a public health care option. Pres Obama said he would not sign a reform bill if it did not have a public option & I believe he will keep his word. Dems do not cave in to the party of "no" If they will not get on board, move ahead without them.

    June 18, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Rob

    Anytime this no good windbag opens her yapper we all should be very afraid. I cannot wait until 2011, when she is no longer Speaker of the House.

    She will go down in history as worst speaker ever. Joined with Reid as worst majority leader ever. Followed in 2013 by Obama as worst president ever.

    June 18, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. vdm

    I agree that the cost of our health care is out of control. People should not lose their homes because of medical bills. However, government-run health care will cost more AND we will receive less care. I sympathize with those without health care insurance. Only a few years ago, I paid over $30,000 in medical bills one year because I did not have insurance. But, I'm telling you, government-run health care is NOT the answer. Wake up, people! This hand-out is gonna cost you, your children, our grandchildren, and our g-grandchildren big time!

    June 18, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Hopeful Optimist

    I just hope she sticks to her guns.

    June 18, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Jon

    As a conservative, I can't believe I am finally uttering these words. Nancy Pelosi is right on health care. In fact, she doesn't go far enough. You need a single payer system in order to be successful with regard to health care only. There is no other way. Liberals need to quit looking like they are being deceptive on healthcare and call it like it is. All people in a great democracy deserve to have their health safeguarded. Period.

    June 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Chal

    I think that Nancy Pelosi needs to start to realize that it is time to listen to what the American people want. Just another goverment involvement which is not needed or wanted. Just reference the stimulus package where the govt intervened. Does anyone believe for one moment that it was successful? Is anyone questioning the enormous deficit and the payback that our children & grandchildren will be responsible for. Does anyone care that many of the politicians that were a part of the downfall in this country are still in office or thru the new administration brought back in to service their country. Are these the same people that were a contributing factor to the loss of 401's. Should we trust these people? The American people always took pride in their country and should, this country offered them freedom, freedom to speak and voice their opinion and recognize that the Constitution of this country is something to be proud of.

    June 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Dan, TX

    You know, if people don't want the public option, they won't buy it. It won't be cheaper than private insurance.

    I suggest:
    Income of 0-$40,000 – insurance cost no more than ~20% of their income (after they pay at least $100 a month).
    (government should subsidize the additional cost over 20% of their net income). If someone can't earn $100 a month to pay for this, they need to be institutionalized (I know, that will cost ~$50,000 a year per person, but what else can we do for them?).

    Insurance should only be given to US citizens. Illegal Aliens (if visa has expired or if they have no visa) should receive minimal care and then be deported to their home country. If no home country is identified, I don't know what to do.

    people making over $40,000 should be offered the government plan, but the plan should be priced 10% higher than the lowest cost comparable private insurance.

    June 18, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. Bob in Pa

    No more Gov't Insuance programs.
    Do some good solid research before you let this happen !

    June 18, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. Proud DHS radical

    So what happens when you're unemployed, no money coming in and you can't pay your mandatory government heath care premiums?
    I guess it would be like not paying the IRS, you face property confiscation or go to jail.

    June 18, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Melissa

    Good. Its time. If Brittain could do it during the 40's when they were bankrupt, we can do it now. Better now than later. If we wait, the Republicans will have a chance to get back into power to ruin us all over again.

    Do it now.

    June 18, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. michael, VA

    Health care is not a right and not something that the government should cover!

    June 18, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Dan, TX

    For those afraid of health care rationing. If you can afford it, no one is going to be able to ration it. I don't understand this. Poor people should have rationed health care. Those with the money can by the supplemental insurance to get past the minimal health insurance the government will offer. There is nothing wrong with a public plan, make people who use it pay. It should be made more expensive than a private plan so it will pay for itself and the subsidies to the poor. Let the liberals go into the public plan and pay the higher rates. They'll pay the higher rates to show their support, even if it means lower quality health care for them. So, I vote for a public plan, and liberals will go into it, and conservatives will keep their health insurance, and once the liberals are out of private insurance it will be cheaper, because liberals are less healthy than conservatives.

    June 18, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. TCM

    @MARLENE –

    Wrong, your statement is not true....unless 100% of those polled were unemployed, illegals....or Lukeisha with her 15 kids.....Are you taking data-tampering lessons from the liberal media?

    Democrats don't respect you or your wishes, sister.....you need to take off those rose-colored glasses and think for yourself.

    Obivously, by the mere actions of ABC and the other lib media, the censorship of anything healthcare will lead to something being signed....what they cannot prevent or censor is the draining of your paycheck through taxation...

    June 18, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. G

    Pelosi should be fired. No government health care.

    June 18, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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