White House shifts on public health care option

From NBC12 News

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's top political adviser is backing away from having a government health care plan compete against private carriers.

David Axelrod says Obama believes a public option would be a good tool. But Axelrod says "it shouldn't define the whole health care debate."

The president is trying to refocus the debate on proposals to help the majority of people who already have insurance - for example, limiting out-of-pocket costs.

That's part of the legislation in Congress, but hasn't gotten a lot of attention.

Axelrod says it's essential to create a competitive market for self-employed people and small businesses to get affordable coverage.

But he's suggesting a government plan may not be the only way to do that.

Axelrod appeared Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

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