Health Care: Public Option Smoke Signals

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We are clearly at a very weird phase of this process, as David Kurtz explains here.

I’m not going to pretend I’ve got anything that resembles clarity, but I’m being told by a normally trustworthy source that at last night’s White House meeting, the President referred to the triggered public option as one of the ideas on the table that he is willing to consider. Which is sort of what he has been saying about it all along.

UPDATE: Jonathan Cohn’s take on the scrambled state of play.

UPDATE2: And this bit of clarity from the House:

A source there confirms that Nancy Pelosi does not yet have the votes for the so-called robust public option (one whose reimbursement rates are tied directly to Medicare rates). The alternative, weaker version would have the new program negotiating rates with providers, which means it would operate more like a private insurance company.

The House Democratic Caucus did something very unusual in their private meeting this morning; they took a roll call, and asked each member there to state where they stood on the public option. However, a large number of members were absent, so it is unclear how short they are of the votes they need.

Also, at her news conference this morning, Pelosi said for the first time that she would have no objection to an idea being kicked around in the Senate, one in which states would have the ability to opt-out of the public option.

UPDATE3: What Ezra Klein is hearing. My head hurts.