Daschle: White House scuttled public option early in reform debate

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) is all over the place when it comes to his telling of the administration's position on the public insurance option. 

In his soon-to-be-released book "Getting it Done," Daschle writes that several "working assumptions" accompanied the administration's $155 billion deal with the hospitals in July 2009, the Wonk Room's Igor Volsky noted this week.

“One was that the Senate would aim for health coverage of at least 94 percent of Americans,” Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan.”

That would run counter to the many statements from the White House, which insisted that President Obama was pushing hard for the public option long after July.

In an interview Tuesday with Volsky, Daschle was already walking back the claims he made in his book.

"I don’t think it was taken off the table completely. It was taken off the table as a result of the understanding that people had with the hospital association, with the insurance [lobby], and others," Daschle said. 

"They wanted to keep those stakeholders in the room, and this was the price some thought they had to pay."