Steny Hoyer, patron saint of the Blue Dog Democrats, just got off a conference call with reporters in which he said that in order for the health bill to pass the House of Representatives, that the public option would be tossed overboard as an essential part of the package.
Hoyer (D-Md.) emphasized his support for a public option in a teleconference call with reporters, but also said he wants to ensure Congress sends a bill to the president.
“I’m for a public option, but I’m also for passing a bill,” he said. Democrats believe the public option is necessary, he said, “but we’ll have to see.”
He added that there are many other important parts of healthcare legislation approved by three committees in the House.
This directly goes against why Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in San Francisco about needing the public option in the House bill in order for it to pass the House of Representatives:
"There’s no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option.”
It’s why we’ve been working so hard here at Firedoglake to hold our progressive block in the House of Representatives to stand firm on the public option and to get them to refuse to vote for any bill, including the conference report, that doesn’t have a strong, robust public option in it.
This is also a clear signal from Steny Hoyer to the Blue Dog Caucus in the House to get them to block the passage of the bill in order to strip out the public option. Then comes the question: Will the White House let the Blue Dog Democrats do this or will they go after the Progressives in the House to support the bill’s passage without a public option in it?