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Rahm Emanuel on Public Option: "It's Not the Defining Piece of Health Care"

In multiple TV appearances on Sunday, the White House Chief of Staff reiterated that the public option is not mandatory.

WaPo -- White House aides reaffirm public option is not mandatory:

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, in two television appearances [this weekend], noted that the public option could provide much-needed competition, but that "it's not the defining piece of health care."

Liberal lawmakers such as Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), who is involved in the negotiations, said they will push for the government option to be included in the bill that goes to the Senate floor. "I haven't given up on this," Dodd said on NBC.

...Obama aides conceded that they may not have the votes in the Senate for the provision.

"There are people in the Senate -- Republicans and Democrats -- who have objections to that," senior White House adviser David Axelrod said on ABC's "This Week."