Administration Official: "Sebelius Misspoke." - The Atlantic Politics Channel
This is a pretty confusing clarification. There are at least four different reactions from insiders.
One (unnamed) says she was merely echoing the president's views, so what she said was true but it wasn't a change in position.
Then Linda Douglass, designated presidential health care flack, says Obama still wants a public option (obviously--but the issue is whether he will give it up to get a bill passed).
Then there is a third (unnamed) who says she didn't misspeak but "the media misplayed it." (as a change in position?)
The fourth is from White House flack numero uno Robert Gibbs, who says that that the specific mechanism used to roll back costs and "fostering competition" are up for discussion. That presumably includes the health cooperatives in lieu of a government corporation.
So if you put all this together, it seems that the White House may be trying to have it both ways--changing position while claiming they are not. They want to crawfish back from insisting on the public option, saying that if it is a deal-killer for Congress, these health cooperatives are an acceptable option. But they are also saying that this flexibility is not really what it looks like--a retreat from insisting on the public option.
Some people think the Sibelius statement was a deliberate trial balloon that was intended to see how outraged the left wing of the party, including the House leadership and Democratic caucus, would get if Obama dropped the public option. Maybe. But it seems that over the last few days the campaign for a public health insurance option has begun to leak oil and may be about to throw a rod.