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Public Option Still Viable As House Set to Pass It -- Not 'Fading,' Says Robert Weiner, Former House Aging Committee Director
Date:9/18/2009

WEINER'S NEW YORK TIMES LETTER TODAY REFUTES CLAIMS OF DEATH OF PUBLIC OPTION

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Public Option is still viable as the House is set to pass it -- "It is not 'fading' nor 'waning' (New York Times) nor on 'life support' (ABC News)," says Robert Weiner, former Chief of Staff for the House Aging Committee and its Health subcommittee, and later spokesman for the White House National Drug Policy Office.

In a letter published in today's New York Times on what the Times called the "the fading public option," Weiner states:

"I believe that the House will pass a bill with a public option, which is strongly supported by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. There will be a big media flurry when it does, so the compromises of triggers and time delays are viable -- in other words, a public option is not dead by any means.

"According to a CBS News poll, public support for the public option rose from 57 percent to 68 percent after President Obama's speech last week.

"Americans want real reform to counter the insurance companies' stranglehold, which makes people in the United States pay almost twice as much as the rest of the world for medical care while we rank behind 44 other countries in infant mortality and behind 49 countries in life expectancy.

"Moreover, a recent study of private insurers in California showed denial of up to 40 percent of claims.

"The public option would result in true competition and would sharpen up the insurance companies and the American health system."

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/18/opinion/l18health.html

Weiner added today, "House Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman, whose bill as reported to the full House includes a public option, told me last week, if the Senate passes a bill without a public option, 'Then we go to conference.' Both other House committees reporting the health reform bill to the floor also include a public option.

"That is the accurate statement. The public option is very much alive, since half of the legislative process is set to include it," Weiner concluded.

Contact: Bob Weiner/Rebecca Vander Linde 301-283-0821/202-329-1700


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SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates
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