On the House side, things are looking much more positive. Nancy Pelosi has put together a bill with a price tag on par with the Baucus bill, except her bill has a robust public option and would provide coverage to roughly five to seven million more Americans. Technically, no final decision about what public option will be included has been made yet. This evening, Pelosi plans to present her caucus with a full CBO score of the bill with the different variations on the public option. As expected, the stronger public option would save dramatically more money.
Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Raul Grijalva is feeling pretty confident. He thinks they are only a few votes shy of being able to secure a robust public option tied to Medicare rates in the House.
"We anticipate that we're at 210," he said. "We feel that the momentum is all on the robust Medicare plus five public option."
The next few days could be definitive for the public option. The stronger the public option is in both bills brought to the floor of the different chamber, the greater the chances are that a real public option could be in the final bill that comes out of conference.