Rep. Waters: House liberals to put up tough public-option fight

By Tony Romm
The Hill

One of the public option’s most vocal supporters in the House on Monday stressed she and her colleagues would fight “as hard as we possibly can” to ensure its inclusion in the final healthcare bill.

The government plan is sure to be one of the most difficult debates to resolve once House and Senate lawmakers confer and combine their bills early next year. But Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) made clear last night that other liberal Democrats would not accept the Senate’s decision to strip its bill of both the public option and a proposed expansion of Medicare.

“A lot of us will be fighting and encouraging our conferees to hold tight for the public option,” she told MSNBC. “We haven’t given up on that. That’s extremely important to a lot of people — not just Democrats, but I mean Americans throughout this country.

“If we held to our position, it would certainly die in conference,” Waters said, adding she was “hopeful” she could vote for the bill but ultimately had not read its most recent revisions.

The forthcoming conference committee to resolve differences between the House’s and Senate’s healthcare efforts is already shaping up to be a tough battle.

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