August 18th, 2009
12:14 PM ET
12 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 • Health care • President Obama
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. George

    All you democrats better listen and listen good. You have the numbers and the power to do what you want and what this country needs. I also favor the public option. But you better all get together soon, and stop your fighting from within. If this country fails to get a good health care bill it will not be the republican's fault. We know they oppose anything good for America. If this fails it will be because the democrats blew it. This is your first and last chance to get together and do it right. If you blow this and are too stupid to talk and work it out, in 2010 you will be in trouble. Even tho the party of no good for America opposed it, you will get the blame from them for it not happening.
    President Obama, you better get your party together, have a mini convention, or it will be all over and you all blew it yourselves.

    August 18, 2009 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  2. LIZ

    I think that we are living ina country that is fast becoming two countries–one that is very liberal and wants to have their way even if it means ramming their ideas down other people's throat. And one that is more a melting pot of ideas and still believes in CHOICE–This Senator and other liberals need to listen to the majority of the peope..

    August 18, 2009 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  3. A. Goodwin

    I completely, 100% agree with Anthony Weiner. We NEED the public plan, and this back-tracking to serve the needs of the Rethuglican's – who are not going to vote for ANY healthcare bill anway – is rediculous. 75% of the American public want a public option...Obama needs to stop trying to bring the Rethugs into the scenario – they have given up on the American people and take their talking points directly from big insurance company's, Rush Limbaugh, Newt and others. Obama – no more playing nice!! We NEED a public option!

    August 18, 2009 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  4. sharon, newport news, virginia

    What a bunch of gutless whimps!!! or greedy politicians. or a combo of both. The American voters strongly voted you all into office because they wanted change.They wanted universal health care. There are more of them than you but your greed for that health care money and for some reason your fear of Rush and Newt and Sarah and Boner and the others speakers of untruths you spineless jellyfish are runnong away. It is unbeleievable. The Republican party doesn't even have a leader and they are beating you.I am also very disappointed in President Obama for appearing to be whishy washy. I do not regret voting for him because the thought of Sarah Palin anywhere near the Presidency scared me to death and John McCain dealing with the economy would have been a disaster. Democrats and President Obama you will NEVER get any Republican votes for health care so stop trying. You have the majority for a reson take advantage of it.

    August 18, 2009 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  5. I support our President!

    Ask yourself what did the republicans do the last 8 years for anyone (let alone health care reform) besides bankrupt this country and plunge us into an illegal war?

    August 18, 2009 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  6. John

    Dude . Grow up. The public plan is dead wrong. Care needs to be affordable not a right. The Governemnt has failed at every program it has ever managed why would anyone dare to dream that this might be different. I voted for Obama because we needed change. I praise Mr Obama for bringing this much needed concept to the forefront. The current system is FAILED. Public plan is not the way to go in any form.

    Attack the costs don't just shovel more money at a stupid public option.

    Tort Reform, A complete free market for providers, is a start.

    August 18, 2009 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  7. Michigan

    Health care reform is finished. The current legioslation has no chance of passing as it stands, and it's going to get hacked to death over the coming months before finally being declared dead and buried.

    The US will probably never have a nationalized health plan, since nobody can agree on how to do it. We'll simply have to continue paying the ever-increasing premiums or go without and prepare for death or bankruptcy when (not if) a serious illness eventually strikes.

    August 18, 2009 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  8. sharon

    Public Plan Choice = Yes.

    Water-down GOP same ol' same ol'.....good for the Ins Companies=NO.

    August 18, 2009 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  9. Brian

    I agree. Obama has to lead on this and remind everyone of what's going on to overcome the hype and blitz of the latest round of insanity from the special interest groups.

    August 18, 2009 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  10. kevin

    Stand tough Democrats! Don't bow to the insurance industry! Don't let Obama cave. This is why I voted for the guy. If he wants my vote again, he's going to need to keep the public option!

    August 18, 2009 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  11. Steve, Columbia SC

    Mr. Weiner,

    Just as I commented to Mrs. Pelosi, let me share with you what we think of the public option in "my house", and all 7 votes in my "house" support this opinion like a majority of Americans.


    August 18, 2009 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  12. RPK

    I would trust an insurance company before I would trust the government... If I don't like my insurance carrier, I can switch to another company. If the government runs everything, and does it poorly, as they usually do, where can I go to get better coverage? Canada? No, wait...Canadians come here for health care that they can't get from their government program.

    We already have national health insurance, Medicare. It costs more than 10 times as much as it was estimated to cost. And it's going broke, is this the program we want to expand to cover everyone?

    Tort reform would lower medical costs without a massive government program and without sacrificing patient care, why is that not included in any of these proposals?

    August 18, 2009 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  13. Jetty

    There will not be a meaningful Health Care Reform without the inclussion of a Public Option Plan.

    August 18, 2009 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  14. Just The Truth

    Well Said!......Obama was voted in because of this bill with the public option.....The insurance companies are the culprits.......If we don't have a public option......maybe we should have insurance companies run the Police Force, the Schools, the fire deppartment........and so the rules can be put down for those services (pre-existing conditions). e.g. If you have had a fire than the fire service won't attend to your house or if you have had a burglary then the police will not come.....sounds about right...about as right as a Delusional right wing nut !

    August 18, 2009 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  15. Question?

    Medicare is going Broke! Why would we want a plan like Medicare!? 9 out of 10 people on Medicare have to get a 2nd PRIVATE plan to pay their medical bills.

    August 18, 2009 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  16. Lilarose

    Obama has let even me down, and I am his biggest supporter.

    No public insurance option, you might as well tell those 48 MILLION Americans without any medical insurance to just FORGET IT!

    What a pathetic excuse we are for a compassionate country!

    August 18, 2009 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  17. B Evans

    Wow a democrat with a spine, there is a new one. Without the public otpion, they are jumping off of this sinking ship...this is before they read the bill that now includes cuts to Medicare, higher taxes, rationing, higher deficits and overall government control of the healthcare industry...the same healthcare industry the democrats are demonizing in front of the cameras, but behind the scenes are asking for their support of the bill....if people would wake up and see what this bill actually says and will do to this country, they would not even think of voting for this...the CBO has confirmed that in its current state, the cost of healthcare will continue to rise, rationing will be needed and taxes will rise and all of this on top of cuts in your current plan.

    August 18, 2009 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  18. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Obama show leadership? What an oxymoron.

    August 18, 2009 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  19. Ian

    Well here's another guy I know I won't be voting for if I ever move to New York.

    August 18, 2009 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  20. Steven White Plains New York

    Only a Democrat from a welfare State would be so focused on creating another entitlement program that will create dependency and sink us in the end. Has this guy ever uttered the words tort reform or inter state commerce to lower costs. It is hard to understand how you can buy car insurance nationally but not health insurance. Funny how the low costs states defend it to the bone so they will not have their rates go up to subsidize entitlement states like New York and New Jersey. Check out health care rates in PA.

    August 18, 2009 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  21. chris

    rep. weiner has not been paying attention to the american public or
    the reality of a goverment run health ,such as the cost .etc.
    I hope this man is replaced in the 2010 elections !!!

    August 18, 2009 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  22. Jeff Brown

    Weiner is right, Obama MUST stand up to the GOP machine of lies and distortions!

    August 18, 2009 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  23. sunshine

    we need health care for all Americans.

    August 18, 2009 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  24. michael

    i cant believe how stupid some people are. Can't you realise that the more the costs spiral out of control especaillaly for small and medium size small business the more business will drop health insurance coverage for their employees..all you people who have care now and are so smug about it..If things go the way they are now

    August 18, 2009 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  25. Socialist

    It is sad to see that some people just can't accept that people might get the healthcare that they need. How can anybody deny a fellow human being medical help? They try to wrap their hates in different packaging but it still the same problem.

    The same people that wrap themselves in a blanket of "good christian" deny people the right to live healthy.


    P.S. For the gun wielding n.r.a having unstable people near the President with guns is insane i don't care for your right to bear arms. If it was Muslim man standing there you think you right wingers would have let him standing there? He would be in Guantanamo being tortured.

    Christian ........yea right

    August 18, 2009 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
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