At a press conference today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared the public option dead. Here’s what she said:
I’m quite sad that a public option isn’t in there. But it isn’t a case of it’s not in there because the Senate is whipping against it. It’s not in there because they don’t have the votes to have it in there…We had it…We wanted it. They didn’t have it. It’s not in the reconciliation.
Pelosi also said no one should expect a House vote before March 18 and that the tax structure in the underlying Senate bill will be altered by the package of changes being crafted.