White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs Stresses that White House Still Prefers Public Option in Health Care Debate

Gibbs denounced reports that the administration may drop its support for a publicly funded insurance option because of intense opposition.

He attributed the reports to a media "overreaction" after the comment by Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that a public option is not "essential" to a health care plan.

Obama himself stoked commentary with his statement Saturday that "the public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform."

A public option is the best option to lower costs, improve the quality of healthcare, ensure choice and expand coverageā€

— Nancy Pelosi