White House backing Reid on public option

The White House is trying to dispel rumors that it is less than enthusiastic about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) approach to the public option.



Reid is reportedly rounding up votes for a public option with an opt-out clause. The White House, the theory goes, still prefers a "trigger," which it believes is more likely to garner the support of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).


Last night, White House deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer penned a blog post knocking down the rumors:

A rumor is making the rounds that the White House and Senator Reid are pursuing different strategies on the public option. Those rumors are absolutely false.

In his September 9th address to Congress, President Obama made clear that he supports the public option because it has the potential to play an essential role in holding insurance companies accountable through choice and competition. That continues to be the President's position.

Senator Reid and his leadership team are now working to get the most effective bill possible approved by the Senate. President Obama completely supports their efforts and has full confidence they will succeed and continue the unprecedented progress that is being made in both the House and Senate.

Make of that what you will. Of course, the post doesn't specifically address the opt-out vs. trigger debate. The White House's repeated answer to questions about the public option has simply been that the president supports it. That seems to be the case here as well.

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