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Pelosi and Hoyer Remarks at Press Availability Following Leadership Meeting
Date:9/29/2009

ions.

Q: How can you deal with bridging the gap between Members of your Caucus, such as yourself and Mr. Hoyer, who insist upon a public option, and those Members of the Caucus who don't want it? How do your bridge that divide?

Majority Leader Hoyer. This divide that exists may be with others, but in our Caucus, everybody wants to do health care reform. I've told you that before. On the public option, frankly, I think a very significant majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives are okay with a public option. The issue is how it is configured, and we are in the process of discussing that.

Speaker Pelosi. The Members of our Caucus are concerned about bringing down cost. Again, that is the driving force for how we go forward and how we lower cost to individuals, to businesses, to the economy, to our federal budget. As the President has said: "Health care reform is entitlement reform." So taking down cost is important.

And as you know, a strong public option lowers cost. There are significant negotiated rates through Medicare. A public option lowers costs significantly. So I believe that we will have a public option in our bill as we go forward. The differences are not as great as you may think when you take it down to its different parts, but everybody wants to lower cost and that is a very strong option for a public option in the bill.

Q: Inaudible.

Speaker Pelosi. I think Mr. Hoyer just mentioned, we are resolving our differences, how it affects Members' districts, and health care providers in their districts.

Q: Inaudible.

Speaker Pelosi. We have -- one of our bills has negotiated rates in it. The Energy and Commerce bill has negotiated rates in it that. The two other bills have Medicare rates. Those chairmen are in communication. And I remind you that the Senate Health bill -- Senator Kennedy's committee, now Se
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