Rep. Barney Frank said that passing healthcare legislation that includes a public option health insurance option could lead to a more expansive single payer system in which all Americans would receive government health insurance.

"I think if we get a good public option it could lead to single payer and that's the best way to reach single payer," Frank told a member of Single Payer Action, an activist group in favor of the universal government plan.

Frank called himself a "big sponsor" of the single payer system but reiterated his support for the less-comprehensive public option.

"The best way we're gonna get single payer, the only way, is to have a public option to demonstrate its strength and its power," Frank explained in defending his support of the current House bill, which includes the public option.

The Massachusetts Democrat made his remarks while entering the National Press Building on Monday.

Video of Frank's comments is here: