Obama supports Senate efforts to find compromise on public insurance option

President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaReport: FCC chair to push for complete repeal of net neutrality Right way and wrong way Keystone XL pipeline clears major hurdle despite recent leak 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 ReidVirginia was a wave election, but without real change, the tide will turn again Top Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots Boehner confronted Reid after criticism from Senate floor 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 Campbell BrownScott Garrett poses real threat to EXIM Bank, small businesses Class warfare fight erupts over tax bills Senators Hatch, Brown have heated exchange on GOP tax plan MORE (D-Ohio), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDe Blasio headed to Iowa to speak at political fundraiser Yes, spills happen — but pipelines are still the safest way to move oil Why sexual harassment discussions include lawmakers talking about Bill Clinton’s past 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."