"The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for a public option. There never have been," Conrad said on "FOX News Sunday."
Conrad is one of six Senate Finance Committee members — three Democrats and three Republicans — who are negotiating a compromise health-care bill that would be the only bipartisan proposal so far.
With the ongoing fight over the public option meeting massive resistance by the American people with poll after poll showing more and more voters opposed to the public option and some opposed to the entire bills passed by the House already, this seems like the logical conclusion.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has also signaled a shift in the White House's position.
Video below, H/T Hot Air.
There are many other parts of the Obamacare bill that are unacceptable, but this was the most egregious portion and it seems the protests, the phone calls slamming the Senate and House switchboards and every day Americans standing up to be heard saying they will not tolerate a public option, seems to have had the desired effect.
Liberals, of course, say they might not support a plan that doesn't include the public option, despite the rising opposition by the majority of Americans, so it is not a done deal and folks need to continue to contact their reps and make their opinion known.
A public option is included in legislation moving through the House, and is backed by liberals, who would feel betrayed if it is not a part of a final bill. They see a public insurance plan as critical to ensure that private insurance companies offer coverage and lower costs.
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) told CNN is would be “very difficult” for she and other liberals to support legislation that does not include a public option.
“The only way we can be sure that very low-income people and persons who work for companies that don’t offer insurance have access to it, is through an option that would give the private insurance companies a little competition,” she said.
Johnson added that House liberals have already told the Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that she should insist on the White House supporting a public option.
Amazing. Poll after poll after poll, has shown that the majority of American voters are opposed, yet House liberals as well as far left liberal blogs and papers, still insist that it be part of the plan, showing they don't give a damn what their constituents want.
The Democrats have pushed this, against the will of the majority, so badly, that now, a plurality of Americans, for the first time in two years, trust Republicans more on healthcare than they do Democrats.
[Update] Administration officials are now claiming Sebelius "misspoke" in the video above.
So either the left hand of the obama administration has no clue what the right hand is doing, or as Michelle Malkin hypothesizes, the backing away and setting the stage for the public option to be removed was nothing more than a trial balloon to see how the netroots would respond.
Doug Ross@ Journal did the dirty work, and went to see how the netroots responded and reported his findings, you have got to go see that.