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White House aides reaffirm public option is not mandatory

Washington Post, October 19, 2009

President Obama continues to support the concept of a government-sponsored insurance option, but "he is not demanding that it is in" the final legislation, Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser, said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "He thinks it's the best possible choice." White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, in two television appearances during the weekend, noted that the public option could provide much-needed competition, but that "it's not the defining piece of healthcare."