The White House is concentrating on winning Senate votes to pass health reform with a public option, a spokesman said Friday.

As questions swirl about the number of votes in the House for several versions of the public option, varying in strength, Deputy White House Secretary Bill Burton said that President Barack Obama is working on votes in the Senate.

"I will say that the president continues to think that the public option is the best way to achieve choice and competition, and that's what he's working toward," Burton said during a press gaggle on Air Force One this morning.

"We're working on getting healthcare reform done, and in order to do that, obviously you're going to need some votes in the United States Senate to move it forward, and that's what we're working on," Burton added.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called an emergency meeting of House Democrats this morning to emphasize that she had not lost the votes for a "robust" public option, contrary to reports this morning.


The reports came after the president lunched with Pelosi on Thursday and met with Senate leaders later that evening.

Burton said that both meetings on healthcare had been productive.

"The president and leadership from the Senate had a very productive conversation about the way forward as it relates to healthcare reform, and they're going to continue to work day and night to make sure that it gets done," he said.