• BARNES: If they are really making policy, then it really is a constitutional problem, that's true.

    KRAUTHAMMER: A towering senator?


    BAIER: President Obama says he still supports a government-run option, but White House officials say it is not essential to healthcare reform. FOX all-stars give us their take after the break.



    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And I continue to believe that a public option within that basket of insurance choices will help improve quality and bring down costs.

    NEWT GINGRICH, (R) FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I think the president has had a month in which the American people have said they don't want a government plan. They would like health reform. They would like it in a way that they trust.


    BAIER: Well, the president today in Cincinnati, Ohio, talking at a labor picnic on Labor Day, talking about health care and how he believes the public option is still a good tool to get costs down. That was the spin this weekend from his advisors as women.

    We're back with the panel. Mort, so what is it — public option, government-run health care or not?

    KONDRACKE: Well, if he is still defending the public option and he is going to defend the public option Wednesday, then he is in real trouble, because the public option is not going to fly in the Senate unless they're going to try to ram it through in the reconciliation process where they need only 51 votes, in which case the place is going to blow up and he's going to have a minority health plan, which I don't think is what he wants.

    It may be that he is saying that he wants the public option, the government option, in order to — because it's going to be part of the House bill. It is going to get through the House.

    And then what I expect will happen is that the Senate will pass its own bill without a public option, and either — what I've heard, actually, is that he is going to try to get the liberals in the House to eat the Senate bill, which will not have a public option in it, which will probably cost a lot less money than $1 trillion dollars, which will — may have some medical malpractice reform in it, and so on.

    And it's going to be a hard swallow for the liberals, but my guess is that that is the only way that they can get a health bill to pass, and they've got to get a health bill passed.

    BAIER: I want to play this sound bite, Charles, from last week when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi two days in a row tried to get to the point of whether there will be a government-run option or not.


    REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA) HOUSE SPEAKER: We will have a public option in the bill. Let me say it another way — we can't pass a bill without a public option.

    If they want no public option, but a trigger, you can be sure that the trigger will bring one on a very owe bust public option.