This was a rather quick turnaround: President Barack Obama’s administration appears to be bending to the massive opposition against the proposed health-care overhaul, and is now leaving open the possibility to drop the government-run health-insurance option that Republicans fear would drive private insurers out of business. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday that the government alternative to private health insurance is “not the essential element” of the overhaul. In a compromise that will please the GOP, Sebelius said the White House would be open to co-ops: “I think there will be a competitor to private insurers. That’s really the essential part, is you don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing.” However, an administration official told Atlantic Monthly that Sebelius "misspoke." Sebelius was simply supposed to say the public option is a tough sell and not the most important part of health reform. Another spokesman said "nothing has changed...The President has always said that what is essential that health insurance reform lower costs...He believes that the public option is the best way to achieve these goals." At a town hall on Saturday, Obama said the public option "is not the entirety of health care reform."