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Dead Again: The Public Option's Second Life is Apparently Over

by: KathyinBlacksburg

Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 11:49:28 AM EST

The ill-titled public option's second life is apparently over.  Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi declared the public option dead yesterday.  You can read more here.  It's not in the reconciliation, she said.  Thus ends any hope that real competition will occur in health care insurance.

For at least a couple of weeks now, progressives have been taken for a ride.  The public option was alive and well.  As you may have heard, as of yesterday we had fifty votes (plus Joe Biden to break the tie).  But wait!  Claiming she didn't have the votes, Pelosi killed off the public option anyway.  Something doesn't add up.  

KathyinBlacksburg :: Dead Again: The Public Option's Second Life is Apparently Over
What doesn't add up is that, apparently, Dems are telling us one thing and telling her another. Here's the view from Not all of you here like Glenn Greenwald.  But he is spot-on here. Folks, I'm afraid we have been scammed.

However you come down on what's left of health care reform, please let your Congressional rep know you are not pleased with their latest bait-and-switch.    

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The Result Is Worth It
Even though you and I don't like what is emerging from the "compromise" in Congress, remember this: 30-32 million Americans who right now have to live in fear because they have no health insurance will be covered by the albeit flawed bill. The people who find themselves kicked off their health insurance because of some "pre-existing condition" or because some insurance company scours their record and finds something they didn't reveal will be protected from those predatory practices.

Seniors who fall into the "doughnut hole" until they have paid out $4,250 will see that shrink every year until it disappears. (That's me and my husband. We both end up spending $8,500 on drugs under the GOP "benefit" plan.)

I, for one, say let's take what this offers and then work like crazy to improve it. That tactic worked with Social Security. It will work with this, too.

Let's hope
the Republicans don't take over Congress because if they do they will cancel the plan. The longer it is in place, the more difficult it will be for them to do this.

[ Parent ]
We Have To Fight
While it's easy to get disheartened and say "I don't care any more," that plays into the hands of the forces of reaction.

You are exactly right to remind us that if Republicans take over Congress in November, that will be the end of ANY progressive change for at least two years.

We Virginians are now living with the results of Democrats who felt that Creigh Deeds didn't "excite" them enough for them to bother to vote. Now, we are reaping the results of that.

[ Parent ]
The Senate isn't relevant
I'm a strong supporter of the PO.  But supporters are all focusing on the wrong body.   I don't understand why there is such an exclusive focus on the Senate.

The Senate is not the problem.   There are probably between 50 and 60 votes for a PO.

The problem is the House.  216 votes are needed.  In the original House bill, 216 current Democrats voted for a public option WITH the Stupak amendment.  Without the Stupak amendment, several of these (not 12, maybe 4-5) will vote no.  With another defection or two, there are only 210 or so.

So Pelosi must convert 6-10 no votes.  Many who voted no said they did so because of the PO, so they are convertible if the PO is dropped

Bottom line:  Without a PO, there are probably 216 votes in the House.  With a PO, there probably are not. Period.  Full stop.

Of course if the House reconciliation bill had a PO, and if it passed, the Senate would go along--they have the 50 votes.  But many Senators aren't going to push for a PO without knowing if the House will go along.

I don't understand why so many PO supporters are pushing the Senate, over and over.  The Senate is not the problem.

Where do you
get your Senate numbers for PO (50-60) from? The Washington Independent has a scoreboard -- well sourced with actual quotes -- and their number is 37. TPM got up to 44 but admitted that some of those were iffy, with several of them included more by inference than by a clear statement. Then Kathy (in the original post) says 50, but doesn't give a source or the list of names. Now you say we have even more -- between 50 and 60. Who are they?

And I also think that, if Pelosi was sure of the 50 Senate votes in reconciliation, she might have been able to push the Senate's version of the bill through the House, PO an'all; the PO had, afterall, cleared the House once and at least a couple of House Dems are reluctant to vote "for", because the Senate version doesn't have it.

[ Parent ]
I got my numbers from Adam Green of Progressive Change Campaign and
He has done his own polling of Congressional members and appeared on the Ed show.  He said "with confidence" that there are at least 51 votes for the public option IF the House goes first on the PO.  But Pelosi has decided not to.

Here's the interview in which he names names.

If you want to skip the interview, you can also go to

Too bad Pelosi won't whip the vote for the PO.  Time to pressure Pelosi (again).

"One person, one vote" died at the hands of SCOTUS, January 21, 2010

[ Parent ]
Here's TPMs take on who
killed the PO.

"One person, one vote" died at the hands of SCOTUS, January 21, 2010

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