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Pelosi Noncommittal on Obama Health Care Blueprint

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday reacted positively to President Barack Obama’s new health care blueprint but stopped short of endorsing it.

The president’s new plan “contains positive elements from the House and Senate-passed bills,” Pelosi said in a statement released shortly after Obama unveiled his $950 billion plan. Obama’s proposal, which comes three days before he convenes a bipartisan summit on health care, contains many key components in the Senate version of reform.

“I look forward to reviewing it with House Members and then joining the President and the Republican leadership at the Blair House meeting on Thursday,” she said. “We must pass comprehensive, affordable health insurance reform, and I am hopeful that Thursday’s meeting will help us achieve this goal.”

Pelosi’s statement made no mention of Obama’s inclusion of a scaled-back tax on high-cost insurance plans opposed by most House Democrats or Obama’s decision not to include the public insurance option favored by the House.

Pelosi, however, defended the yearlong effort to finish a health care bill as having a “historic level of transparency and open debate.”

During his question-and-answer session with House Republicans earlier this year, Obama said earlier health bill negotiations had been a “messy process” and took responsibility for them.

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