Pelosi: Obama Health Care Bill ‘Getting a Good Reception’

Posted February 23, 2010 at 2:54pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s latest health care proposal is “getting a good reception” so far among House Democrats despite the lack of a public insurance option.

“We’re very pleased with what the president put up on the Internet yesterday,” Pelosi said. “We think it moved much closer to the House position on affordability for the middle class, closing the doughnut hole, equity for our states so that one state is not treated much differently than the rest of the states … and that the payfor in it is something that the Democrats in the House can support.”

Pelosi stopped short of formally endorsing Obama’s $950 billion plan, saying that she still needs to talk more to her Members and see legislative language. But she made it clear that the president moved the bill substantially in the House’s direction.

“We didn’t get everything we asked for, but everything that is in there is what we asked for,” she said.

Pelosi also isn’t about to hold up the bill over the lack of a public option prized by liberals. She said there are other ways to hold the insurance companies accountable and said questions about whether it is dead or not should be directed to the Senate.

“That will depend on what the Senate can pass,” Pelosi said.

Earlier Tuesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the idea didn’t have enough support and spoke of it in the past tense.

“This is a debate that was largely ended with the notion that it’s not going to make it through the legislative process,” Gibbs said.

Obama is hosting a bipartisan health care summit at the Blair House on Thursday with Members of both parties, including top party leaders.