Health Care Reform '90%' Done: Reid

But Senate, House leaders not united on public option
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2009 5:35 PM CDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., speaks to reporters outside of the West Wing of the White House Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Harry Reid declared "90% agreement" in the Senate on health care reform today after a meeting with President Obama. Reid and Nancy Pelosi expressed optimism that the president's address to Congress tomorrow will bolster support for reform, the Hill reports. The Senate Majority Leader is confident that the speech will at least defuse some of the “ridiculous falsehoods” that have so far dominated the debate.

The two congressional leaders did not seem in sync on the issue of a public option: Reid said he and the majority of the Senate wanted it but did not see it as necessary. Pelosi, however, said the creation of a government-run health plan was “essential” for passage in the House. White House press chief Robert Gibbs didn't shed any light on whether Obama would demand a public option, but he said the president would make sure people “understand what the public option is and what the public option isn't.”