Pelosi: House Bill Will Have Public Option

Jun 18, 2009 1:52pm

ABC News' Dean Norland reports: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she has every confidence that the health care bill coming out of the House will have a public option.

“I believe for us to have substantial health care reform, this has to be a part of it,” she said during a news conference Thursday. 

"We will have a public option in the House that will be real. If it’s not real, it’s no use doing. And if we don’t do a public option, I’m not sure we have as effective a public healthcare reform as we wish," she added.

Pelosi said the public option must be sound, self-sustainable and one that adds to competition. 

The speaker said there is no effort to drown out private health care plans with one that is government-run.

Pelosi's remarks come a day after the Bipartisan Policy Center, supported by three former majority leaders of the Senate – Tom Daschle, Howard Baker, and Bob Dole — Monday proposed a plan that calls for state or regional public-sponsored networks that would compete with private health plans instead of a government-run plan.

On the subject of giving the Federal Reserve more power as a regulator, as the president proposed Wednesday, Pelosi said any increased powers given to the Fed need to be balanced with more transparency, so the American people have a better understanding of how the central bank operates. 

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