Obama supports Senate efforts to find compromise on public insurance option

President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaPanetta on transgender ban: Trump should pay the military a visit White House declines to apologize to Boy Scouts Boy Scouts chief apologizes for Trump’s Jamboree address MORE said Wednesday that he supports the effort by Senate Democrats to reach a compromise on the public option.

Obama said the Senate had made “critical progress with a creative new framework” that he believes would help pave the way for final passage.

“I support this effort, especially since it’s aimed at increasing choice and competition and lowering costs,” Obama said.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidConservative Senate candidate calls on GOP to end filibuster Ex-Reid aide: McConnell's 'original sin' was casting ObamaCare as 'partisan, socialist takeover' GOP faces growing demographic nightmare in West MORE (D-Nev.) late Tuesday announced that 10 centrist and liberal Democrats had reached a broad deal on healthcare. Their agreement would replace the public health insurance option in the Senate bill with a new system that would have the Office of Personnel Management negotiate insurance polices that would be administered by private firms.

Another part of the compromise would allow people between the ages of 55 and 64 who lack insurance to enter the Medicare program.

The compromise is aimed at winning the votes of the Senate’s 58 Democrats and two Independents, who both caucus with Democrats.  

It is unclear whether the effort will win the support of Senate liberals who want the public option, though liberal Sen. Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerOvernight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term Obama to preserve torture report in presidential papers MORE (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday evening suggested he could support the deal in order to move healthcare forward.

Some outside groups on Wednesday pressured liberal senators to oppose the new deal. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee called on Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownOvernight Finance: House passes spending bill with border wall funds | Ryan drops border tax idea | Russia sanctions bill goes to Trump's desk | Dems grill bank regulator picks Dems grill Trump bank regulator nominees Senate Dems launch talkathon ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (D-Ohio), Bernie SandersBernie SandersLive Coverage: Senate votes down 'skinny' ObamaCare repeal Sanders: Senate healthcare fight 'totally bananas' Overnight Defense: Military won't lift transgender ban until Trump sends directions | House passes national security spending | Russian sanctions bill heads to Trump MORE (I-Vt.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Roland Burris (D-Ill.) to block the bill and demand that the Senate use budget reconciliation rules to move healthcare. Liberal groups support the use of those rules because it could mean that only 51 votes would be needed to dispense with procedural moves that would otherwise block the bill.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed questions about whether Obama would rather have a public option in the bill, dismissing them as hypothetical. "You're asking me if the president would rather he'd won the lottery," Gibbs said.

Asked if the president believed he did everything he could for the public option, Gibbs responded, "Yes."