The chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Barbara Lee, issued this statement today on reports that the White House is backing away from insisting that a government-run option be included in the health care exchange.  "Any bill without a public health insurance plan like Medicare is not health reform."  


The basic calculus here: the White House thinks that House Democrats won't be able to say "no" to a reform bill in the end, even without a public plan, and is going to try other inducements -- money for favorite programs, promises down the road, maybe even some threats and pressure -- to keep them aboard.

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