House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday reiterated that if there was a better way than a public option for health care reform she would be open to it, but stopped short of saying she would not pass a healthcare bill without it, as in previous occasions.
“We in the House believe, that the public option is the best way to hold insurance companies honest -- to keep them honest and also to increase competition. If there is a better way, put it on the table,” she said today at a press conference in Washington, according to CNN.
She said she is awaiting an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office of the Senate's proposed bill, which does not include the public option, an insurance plan run by the government meant to provide competition to insurance companies in certain states where they have a monopoly.
In a September 3 press release posted to her web site, she stated that if someone “has a better idea for promoting competition and reducing health care costs, they should put it on the table.”
However she also said at the time that the House would not pass a bill without the option.
“A bill without a strong public option will not pass the House. Eliminating the public option would be a major victory for the insurance companies who have rationed care, increased premiums and denied coverage.”