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House Public Option Still Viable, Says House Committee on Aging & Health Subcom. Ex-Director Bob Weiner
Date:10/13/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Robert Weiner, former Chief of Staff of the House Committee on Aging and Health Subcommittee, said the public option remains viable despite the Senate Finance Committee vote today.

The statement follows:

On Pelosi Power: Public Option Still Viable -- By Robert Weiner and Rebecca Vander Linde

Opponents' caricatures have become commonplace. Rush Limbaugh has issued numerous jabs. On Sept. 10, master Republican strategist Karl Rove asked, "How much capital will Speaker Nancy Pelosi have" to pass health care?

Pelosi answered that in a conversation Sept. 29 at House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers' 80th birthday party, after the Senate Finance Committee had just rejected the Medicare-like public option for all by a 10-13 vote: "We will not be deterred. We will pass the bill."

The public option is still viable. The House is set to pass it.

The House bill with a public option is strongly supported by Pelosi and all three House committees that sent the bill forward. When it does pass, compromises with the Senate of triggers and time delays and state programs will occur. That's how the process works.

According to a CBS News poll, public support for the public option rose from 57 to 68 percent after President Obama's speech to Congress last month. People understand that real reform would counter the insurance stranglehold that makes Americans pay almost twice as much as the rest of the world while we rank behind 44 other countries in infant mortality and life expectancy.

Pelosi is now blending the three House versions - all with a public option - and will bring the bill to the Rules Committee over the next few days and the floor soon afterward.

For those who doubt Pelosi's ability to pass the bill, she has passed every bill she has brought forward, usually with 60-plus margins, since the Democrats recaptured the House in 2006. These include the Recovery Act, Credit Card Bill of Rights, Homeowner Affordability, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay, Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) and State Children's Health Program expansion to 11 million youths.

A true reading of her performance should brand Pelosi as the Lyndon Johnson of the House. Just as Johnson did when he served as the Senate's majority leader, Pelosi works from the inside to ensure efficient passage of bills.

Health care - and the public option - will probably be no different.

CONTACT: Bob Weiner or Rebecca Vander Linde, +1-301-283-0821, +1-202-306-1200, both of Robert Weiner Associates

SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates


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SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates
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