Friday, February 26, 2010

Speaker Pelosi: "We must act!"

Democracy for America

At yesterday's bipartisan summit, President Obama gave Republicans one last chance to get on board healthcare reform or choose to become even more irrelevant while Democrats pass reform without them. Of course, Republicans chose to be irrelevant.

Now, Democrats will use reconciliation to pass healthcare reform and our state-by-state polling shows that if the bill has a public option in it -- then voters want it even if it gets zero Republican votes. Here's exactly what we asked:
What would make you more likely to vote for Democrats in the 2010 elections: If they pass health care reform that includes a public health insurance option but gets zero Republican votes OR if they pass health care reform without a public option but with some Republican votes?
State after state -- swing states, blue states, conservative states -- voters want a public option more than Republican votes.

As of this morning, 24 Senators have signed Senator Bennet's Public Option letter calling for passing a public option using reconciliation. Now that Republicans have lost their last chance to support reform, it's time to get every Senate Democrat on board.


Speaker Pelosi's final remarks at yesterday's healthcare summit were clear: We must act and include a public option.
"Mr. President, I harken back to that meeting a year ago. At that time, Senator Grassley questioned you about the public option.

And you said the public option is one way to keep the insurance companies honest and to increase competition. If you have a better way, put it on the table.

Well, I bring that up because we have come such a long way... As a representative of the House of Representatives, I want you to know that we were there that day in support of a public option which would save $120 billion, keep the insurance companies honest, and increase competition.

We've come a long way to agreeing to a Republican idea, the exchanges... because the insurance companies opposed the public option. They couldn't take the competition.

We have in our bill market-oriented, encouraging-to-the-private-sector initiatives. I think the insurance industry, left to its own devices, has behaved shamefully. And we must act on behalf of the American people.

We have lived on their playing field all this time. It's time for the insurance companies to exist on the playing field of the American people."
When Speaker Pelosi calls for a way forward on healthcare that includes passing a public option, she's talking about using reconciliation to do it. That's why 119 House Democrats, 24 Senators, and over 300,000 Americans have endorsed this strategy. But at least one of your Senators hasn't signed the Bennet Public Option letter yet.


We're at a critical time. Democrats in Washington need to see that we have backbone. They need to know that good policy is good politics. We're fighting for them to include a public option and get the job done, because passing real reform is the only way to victory in 2010 and beyond.

Please make the call. Thank you for everything you do.


Charles Chamberlain, Political Director
Democracy for America

P.S.The polling we announced today with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Credo Action is availble here.

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