Hoyer Says Public Option Not Essential

Posted September 8, 2009 at 12:25pm

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday reaffirmed his position that a health care overhaul doesn’t need to include a public insurance option to pass the House.“While I am supportive of the public option, I think the bill, if you didn’t have a public option, has much within it that is very good,— Hoyer told reporters at his weekly roundtable.The stance puts the No. 2 House Democrat at odds with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has repeatedly said a reform package needs a strong public insurance option to get through the chamber. But Hoyer is closer to House moderates who have raised objections to the proposal and said it isn’t a condition of his own support for a bill.“My position has been I’m for the public option, I want to see us adopt the public option, but I think there is a lot in the bill that is very good in addition to the public option,— he said. “Interpreted, that means if the public option weren’t in there, I still could support a bill because I think there’s a lot in there that’s good.—