August 17th, 2009
06:44 PM ET
14 years ago

House Democrat: Health care bill in doubt without public plan

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" 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 • Extra • Health care • President Obama
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Carey

    I love how those who oppose healthcare reform, (mostly those on the right), continue to rant that they don't want government to come between American's and their doctor's, but they're ok with the government stepping between a women and her OB/GYN when she wants to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

    HYPOCRITES!!!! Plain and simple.

    August 17, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Mike Allen

    So once again Health care reform will fail. And again it will be because the Super wealthy Corporate CEO greedy scum, and their bought and paid for crooked Republican puppets. Have succeeded in fooling the American sheeple with lies and distortions. Shame on the Democrats if they cave in to this disgusting manipulation of our Government by the same greedy crooks that ruined our economy, got us into war for oil and sent our middle class lifestyle to China in exchange for cheap defective products. What a disappointment Wahington DC is to the American people. Even with the most decent American President that we have seen in decades. Big Money still rules the roost.

    August 17, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    Does Rep. Anthony Weiner understand that we are a nation with an economy already on life support, that we have 10% unemployment and a national debt that will soon be the same as our GNP? Has anyone told him that, like it or not we are also in a war?

    This is not managing our country. This is pillaging our future.

    August 17, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. Lisa P

    I hate to say it but it seems to me that if you want/need the kind of savings that will allow all Americans to be covered at the rate of what some Americans and their employers currently pay then single payer is the only option. Say what you will about monopolies but they are efficient - think Microsoft. Can you imagine what the digital world would look like if there were as many independent operating systems out there, each working under its own rules and standards and none talking to the others, as there are insurance companies with different reimbursement systems and plans? It would be chaos, plain and simple. That's the medical finance system now - more payment clerks than doctors. Adding a public plan won't help that confusion, only add to it. Single payer is the way to go.

    August 17, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. vic nashville , Tn

    Democrats please be strong sometime we have to work like G.W.Bush as Bill Maher said

    August 17, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. Grrr-awful-o

    Without the public option it will not enable the eventual elimination of private insurance and ensure that the government will be the only healthcare plan in town. Therefore, it will not achieve Obama's or the democratic congress' objective (government healthcare). Therefore, this will be a fight to the death for Obama and the far left. Not getting that in the final bill will be tantamount to complete failure for them.

    But the majority of Americans don't want government-only healthcare. And they know that the government coverage option will ultimately kill private insurance (the government provides a coverage option AND gets to write the laws that the insurance companies have to comply with... in private business that would be an illegal conflict of interest). We do want some healthcare reform. We want the elimination of pre-existing condition denials and a way to carry over coverage when we change jobs or are temporarily unemployed. But going all the way over to government healthcare is not the way we want it – with all the other baggage that will bring along. If the left wants to negotiate a way to get what most of us want then we'll get that. But if it's a death struggle for government coverage then that's going to be a free fall crash.

    August 17, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. ron

    The problem with the Governor Sanford situation is that the church age has come to an end.

    August 17, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  8. GOPBslapper

    Single payer saves Americans 30% by cutting out Insurance companies. But the GOP is a puppet of the insurance lobbyists and their dumb minions can't decipher facts frpm GOP / Insurance Lobby Spin. Dumb and dumber once again. GOP won't react until it's a Huge crisis when nobody can afford Health Care and companies drop everyone, but then again, thats their creedo.
    Wait until it's a crisis the punt to Democrats.

    August 17, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. eolufemi

    I wondered how long it was going to take for some democrat to realize they have the majority and dont need to cowtow the fringe of the right.

    August 17, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. stormerF

    What is up with these,Democrats and their spend,spend,spend?I am compassion fatigue about all these Soclalistic ideas that we the American Tax Payers have to do for everyone,every where ,all the time.
    ..The public option is just another way to spend our tax money for those who will not work.Next will it be they need car insurance,because theirs is not As good as mine? Then maybe we could issue them a gasoline card to vote for the Democrtas at the Tax payers expense?

    August 17, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |

    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.


    August 17, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  12. Judy Jonsen

    I think a single payer health care system is the answer. In addition legislation must be passed whereby rates charged by health care providers are controlled. The primary reason that health care costs are rising is because health care providers to include health insurance companies continually raise rates and sad to say market competition does nothing to control the ever rising costs. Obviously they have and will not control themselves.
    The majority of doctors in Anchorage Alaska will not accept Medicare patients because Medicare doesn't pay enough.
    I look at the present health care system as being an unhealthy system. I support the US government setting limits on what health care providers can charge, in fact without fixing this piece there will be no fix for the nation's health care system.

    August 17, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. GOP = 21st century dodo


    No public option = no vote for Obama in 2012.

    August 17, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  14. SS

    How can anyone support a bill if they don't understand the basics?

    August 17, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  15. Nobody Asked Larry But...

    Oh why oh why can't we get single payer health insurance like President Obama and all the members of Congress?

    Because it is a good plan and they don't want anyone else to have it.

    And the idea that those members of Congress that are speaking out against any form of government involvement in health insurance is hypocritical of the highest order.

    August 17, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  16. Carole

    Representative Weiner's constituents are sooooo lucky. They have a representative who fights for them!!!!!!!!

    I loved it when a bill was mentioned to have all politicians in all houses to give up their government benefits. I think they should.

    August 17, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. lila

    Public school might have problems but I'm so thankful that we have it. i think in the end, public health care will be in the same category. Public school is a world better than no school. Public health care option will be a world better than no health care. Let those who have more get the very best. They do anyway. Let those who get nothing have something. The rich have nothing to fear that way.

    August 17, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  18. T'SAH from Virginia

    I WANT AN "OPTION"!!!! Case and POINT!!!

    August 17, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. neil

    Come to canada and see what a disaster single pay government healthcare is all about, lineups for more than a year, no doctors, no beds, and this with massive amounts of money that take up 50% of provincial budgets being thrown away. It is against the law for us to seek private care for me that I can get for my dog in one day, if this is what you want BEWARE

    August 17, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  20. Denna

    As a Liberal, I think Weiner is a bonehead. We need a health care option and I hate it that so many politicians have homed in on the public option as the only option. Why not the co-ops that were mentioned? Maybe pig-headed Conservatives are not the only ones who need to be sent home in 2010. Don't forget that this is about US, THE PUBLIC, NOT YOU! Give President the support he needs to get 'er done!

    August 17, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  21. elana

    Oh My! Chicken Little!! The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!! Give me a break! Would the media PLEASE keep their nose out of this venture????????? You received a D on your report card!!! Keep on, and be prepared to FLUNK the course the net time your report card is issued!!!

    August 17, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  22. jinxie

    At least there's one in the House that can't be bought. We need a bold move. We need leadership.
    Bipartisanship fails when it insures all our great mistakes and failures continue to endure.
    Healthcare is a human right, not a commodity to be bought and sold, speculated on, bartered or traded.

    August 17, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |