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Rep. Edwards: Public option now optional in health reform vote

After pledging not to vote for any health care bill that did not contain a public option, Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) now says she "may" do just that.

Edwards was one of about 60 Democrats to sign a letter to Democratic leaders back on July 30 that called "unacceptable" any bill that, "does not provide, at a minimum, for a public option with reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates."

"We simply cannot vote for such a proposal," the letter stated. (Here's the letter, provided by

Edwards repeated that position in September, in an interview with Maryland Politics.

But at a birthday bash for former Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry Thursday, Edwards said things have changed.

Asked whether she would now vote for a final bill without a public option, she said, "I may, I just don't know. ...Now, we're in a completely different environment."

Edwards said she still wanted to see a bill that provided affordable, accessible, quality health care, and that, "if it meets these three tests, I'm wiling to support the bill."

Edwards was also asked what she thought of Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey announcing that he would not challenge her in this year's Democratic primary in Maryland's 4th District.

"I think he made the right decision and I wish him the best in the private sector," she said.

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  January 22, 2010; 12:08 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Jonathan Mummolo , Prince George's County  
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Representative Edwards is right - and what has changed is that Democrats like her in the House recognize that the majority of America does NOT want a public option. It will bankrupt the country and drive doctors away from the practice of medicine.

Posted by: agupta1 | January 22, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Bull, they don't. Without a Public Option there is no true competition or Reform. Time and time again the one constant in ALL polls has been for the public option. I'm tired of seeing our Politicians sell out to special interests and watching our citizens being brainwashed by them, it sad.

Posted by: drtodd1977 | January 22, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

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