Bill Thomas, a senior advisor in Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Federal Government Relations Section, was quoted in a June 4, 2009, article published by CQ HealthBeat News. The article, titled "Defeat Public Plan 'At All Costs,' House GOP's Ryan Urges," discussed the possibility of a government-run health insurance plan being passed and opponents' opinions of it.

According to the article, "Rep. Paul D. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican viewed as key on health issues, told an American Enterprise Institute forum that a health insurance overhaul bill containing a public plan in addition to private insurance plans will be approved by the House 'no two ways about that' and probably the Senate as well."

The article went on to say, "Watching from the audience in the AEI meeting room was the man whom Ryan called his mentor, Bill Thomas, the former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee when Republicans were in control of the House. Thomas, in his legendary blunt way, told the AEI group that a public plan for insurance is 'inevitable,' and it is possible that legislation will be written broadly with details to be filled in later. 'In my opinion, it is going to happen even if they have to stiff long-term, prominent members of their party in the House or Senate,' said Thomas."

"He said he saw it coming when Democrat John D. Dingell of Michigan was replaced with Henry A. Waxman of California as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee overseeing the health overhaul," the paper noted.

Thomas also predicted the legislation will be mainly the product of HELP Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts rather than the bipartisan approach undertaken by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Grassley.

"Sure you'd like it bipartisan," Thomas said. "We just saw the Kennedy plan come out. It has a public plan. The final bill will have a public plan. It will be the Kennedy-Waxman bill passed by a majority of the House and coincidentally a majority of the Senate. They only need 51." As explained by the article, "The fiscal 2010 budget resolution adopted by Congress would allow Democrats to pass a health care overhaul through the Senate with just 51 votes, using the procedure called reconciliation."