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Congress: Public option's new life?

"The Senate has long been seen as opposed to the federal government selling health insurance in competition with private industry, but now senior Senate Democrats and White House officials are strongly considering including such a measure in health care overhaul legislation, officials say," the AP says. "The provision would permit individual states to drop out of the system, a design that could make it more palatable to moderates who have opposed the "public option."

But is the public option in trouble in the House? Politico: "Speaker Nancy Pelosi counted votes Thursday night and determined she could not pass a 'robust public option' — the most aggressive of the three forms of a public option House Democrats have been considering as part of a national overhaul of health care. Pelosi's decision—coupled with a significant turn of events yesterday during a private White House meeting—points to an increasingly likely compromise for a trigger option for a government plan."

"Rep. Paul Hodes (N.H.), who is in his second House term, and freshman Rep. Mike Quigley (Ill.) called on the House Oversight and Government Reform panel to initiate an investigation into Countrywide Financial's 'Friends of Angelo' VIP program and whether it was used to gain influence over federal officials. They made their case for the investigation in a letter to Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), the panel's chairman, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member."