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Pelosi: Public Option Is 'Best Option"

As liberals worry that President Obama may be resigned to signing a health care reform bill without a public option, Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement this afternoon calling a public option the "best option":

"As the President stated in March, 'The thinking on the public option has been that it gives consumers more choices and it helps keep the private sector honest, because there's some competition out there.'

"We agree with the President that a public option will keep insurance companies honest and increase competition.

"There is strong support in the House for a public option. In the House, all three of our bills contain a public option, as does the bill from the Senate HELP Committee.

"A public option is the best option to lower costs, improve the quality of health care, ensure choice and expand coverage.

"The public option brings real reform to lower costs over the 10-year period of the bill."

A second press release minutes later took aim at the media for repeating "a myth opponents of health insurance reform have been spreading: that people would be 'forced' to choose a public health insurance option." Pelosi's office cited AP, ABC's Jake Tapper, FOX News's Chris Wallace and NBC's David Gregory.

The public option "simply provides...a choice between various private plans and a public plan," the Speaker's office wrote.