According to the Plum Line, the Obama administration has distributed new talking points on healthcare reform, and the document discusses the public plan option. Recently, the Senate Finance Committee rejected a proposed public plan option.
The talking points contain two interesting items. First, they state that "[t]he other four bills in the process include a strong public option," which treats the Finance Committee as an outlier.
The talking points, however, minimize the significance of the public plan by describing it as "just one small part of health insurance reform." I find it hard to understand why the public plan is a "small" element of reform. Advocates of the public plan have argued that it would provide competition and reduce the cost of insurance. Because the pending reform packages seek universal coverage, reducing the cost of insurance is extraordinarily important. To date, liberals have not abandoned the idea of a public option. I hope Obama has not done so either.