Our message to Congress:
Americans want a good health care bill with a public health
insurance option, even if it passes with only Democratic votes. We
would rather have a good bill than a bipartisan one.
This morning, in
advance of the health care summit later this week, President Obama put
forward a proposal to start the process of passing health care
The president's plan
is just an opening bid for discussion with Republicans, so you might
think that it would include a public option that is supported by most
Americans and is extremely popular with Democrats. But there is no
public option in the president's proposal.
Instead, it is
largely based upon the negotiations that were happening before Jan.
19th's election in Massachusetts. It's still a plan that is written
with 60 votes in mind to succeed. It still includes elements written
by Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson. It includes proposals from
Republicans. It has all kinds of trade-offs aimed at senators who will
never vote for this bill.
has given the Republicans and conservative Democrats ample opportunity
to get on board with health care reform. It's time to pass health care
Leader Harry Reid has said if he has the votes, he will pass a bill
with the public option. Reid has also said that reconciliation is how
he's going to pass health care, which will require only a simple
majority - 51 votes. That means he doesn't need a single Republican
vote. Or Joe Lieberman's or Ben Nelson's for that matter.
The president has
supported the public option in the past. And once this last ditch
effort to curry Republican support for change fails, it's time to pass
the bill the president campaigned for.
Thank you for
working to secure real health care reform.
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