House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the Huffington Post Thursday that a health care overhaul that did not include a public option wouldn't make it through the House because it "wouldn't have the votes."
At a press conference earlier in the morning, Pelosi had been asked if including a public plan that would compete with private insurance was "essential" to health care reform. "Can you have effective health care reform without a public option?" a reporter asked.
The goal, she responded, was affordability and accessibility. "If you have another way to do that, put it on the table. And that's where we are. Everything should be on the table," she said.
The open-ended answer led some reporters after the press conference to wonder if she was backing off her statement to MSNBC Wednesday that a bill without a public option wouldn't get out of the House.
Not at all, she said. Asked by HuffPost if she would allow a reform package without a public option out of the House, she responded: "It's not a question of allow. It wouldn't have the votes."