'Robust' Public Option May Be Dead in House
But not everyone buys report that Pelosi lacks the votes
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2009 9:10 AM CDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – The public option continues its yo-yo course. On the same day we get news that Harry Reid is leaning toward putting a version into the Senate bill, Mike Allen reports at Politico that Nancy Pelosi doesn't haven't the votes for a "robust" version in the House. Talking Points Memo disagrees with the latter, as does presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett. "I don't know whether Mike Allen can actually count votes or not," she said on Morning Joe.

Allen's story suggests that because Pelosi doesn't have the votes to pass the most aggressive of the public option plans, a "trigger" option is the likely alternative. Olympia Snowe, for example, is floating a plan to have a public plan go into effect only if private insurers don't reform quickly enough, and an administration official tells Politico that President Obama backs the idea. This flurry of reports comes after yesterday's meeting between Obama and congressional leaders, a sign that they're finally getting down to the legislative nitty-gritty.