From the Heritage Foundation’s Foundry blog, “Morning Bell: Public Option Is Not Dead Yet“:
The headlines are encouraging: The AP reports, “White House appears ready to drop ‘public option’.” Politico reads, “White House backs away from public health care option.” And the front page of USA Today says, “Obama may drop public option in health care.” These headers all stem from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ comment on CNN Sunday Morning that the public option “is not the essential element” of President Barack Obama’s health care plan. But by Sunday night the White House was already walking back Sebelius’ statement.
An anonymous administration official told The Atlantic that Sebelius “misspoke” and White House health reform communications director Linda Douglass released a statement explaining: “Nothing has changed. The president has always said that what is essential is that health-insurance reform must lower costs, ensure that there are affordable options for all Americans and it must increase choice and competition in the health-insurance market. He believes the public option is the best way to achieve those goals.”
Our guess? Secretary Sebelius was just expressing the content of previously confidential discussions. If so, good.
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