The Obama administration has "seen very clearly" that it must back a healthcare bill containing a public option for consumers after suffering the backlash of liberal members of Congress.

"What happened was that there was a great pushback from the progressives in this party, from the leadership of this party," Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said during an appearance on MSNBC. "And I think they have seen very clearly that they must have a public option to get this bill passed."

The White House has backtracked from statements from some administration officials earlier this week that it could support a bill without a public option after liberal lawmakers made clear they wouldn't support such a bill.

The White House has also had to alternately manage relations with Congress after the New York Times reported Wednesday that they were set to abandon compromise efforts with Republicans in order to "go it alone" on healthcare.

Waters said she would "absolutely not" support a bill without a public (or "government-run") option, and insisted that lawmakers and President Obama needed to do a better job of explaining the controversial provision to Americans.