[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/17/art.pelosi0817.gi.jpg caption=" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there is still 'strong support' for the public option."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - As President Obama seemed to signal that a public insurance plan would not be a make-or-break issue for his health care proposal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday there is still "strong support" among her colleagues for it to be included in the final bill.
Quoting the president saying in March that a public option "gives consumers more choices and it helps keep the private sector honest," Pelosi said that three versions of health care legislation in the House all include it.
"We agree with the President that a public option will keep insurance companies honest and increase competition," Pelosi said in a statement. "A public option is the best option to lower costs, improve the quality of health care, ensure choice and expand coverage. "The public option brings real reform to lower costs over the 10-year period of the bill."
On Saturday, Obama said that a public option is "just one sliver" of his health care plan.
"All I'm saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform," Obama said at a town hall meeting on Saturday in Colorado. "This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it."