Congressman Alan Grayson calls for a vote on the Public Option now

It’s worth noting that the House healthcare bill already incorporates a public health insurance plan. The issue has always been in the Senate, where we’d need at least 50 votes under reconciliation, with the Vice President casting the deciding vote. Fortunately, we seem to be making progress there as well. As of today, we’ve got 41 Senators who support the passage of a public option via reconciliation. If your Senator isn’t on the list, please make a call. I know it’s a long-shot at this stage of the game, but quitters never win. We need to keep right on swinging until the bell rings.

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13 Comments

  1. Cam
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I agree with you about fighting till the end, but it’s worth noting something you posted here before… which is that a lot of these Senators may just be indicating that they support the Public Option now because they know that it won’t ever come to a vote, and won’t pass. This way, they get to appear progressive to their progressive constituents, but won’t have to actually do anything about it.

  2. Meta
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    More info on Grayson’s Public Option Act:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/03/the_public_option_act.html

  3. jacksmith
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    From: jacksmith – WorkingClass

    Dennis Kucinich http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfuFVm6QdPU

    Rep. Alan Grayson: HR4789 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy2Y5Uevisk

    WE THE PEOPLE OF The UNITED STATES – DEMAND!! an up or down vote on a Strong “GOVERNMENT-run” Public Option CHOICE!

    Every member of Congress that fails to openly declare a YES vote for a Strong “GOVERNMENT-run” Public Option CHOICE! before reconciliation or any other healthcare vote, will be branded a NO vote against the Public Option. And a NO! vote against the American People and the World.

    KNOW THIS!! We will RIP you from Office with such political ANGER! and BRUTALITY! that they will hear the Echoes of your parting screams for a 100 YEARS! You have a CHOICE! and AND SO DO WE. The PUBLIC OPTION!!

    The Public Option http://tinyurl.com/yfftf76 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj54bU0YYnk

    IGNORE THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AT YOUR PERIL!!

    TAKE THE VOTE! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eob4GJSDKY

    A LINE IN THE SAND –

    Call your representatives and demand an answer. Do you or don’t you support a public option. Do you or don’t support democratic MAJORITY RULE! We DEMAND! to know.

    YOU! are dying and suffering needlessly every day http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/27055

    Why we need Government-run universal healthcare ASSURANCE! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jng4TnKqy6A

    My Fellow Americans and People Of The World

    A strong Government-run MEDICARE like Public Option is STILL! CRITICAL!

    We have had a long hard struggle to find out what would be the BEST! that this congress and the Whitehouse could do to fix our highly dangerous, poor quality, most costly, and MOST! disgraceful healthcare delivery system in the world. It is clear that congress can do much more for the American people than what is proposed so far.

    It is clear that congress can pass a strong GOVERNMENT-run public option CHOICE. Available to everyone on day one. Expand Medicare and not levy any new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. LET THIS BE YOUR LINE IN THE SAND!

    Lastly, there can be NO! INDIVIDUAL MANDATES without a strong Government-run MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. Or the American people WILL! and SHOULD! revolt with an all out CIVIL WAR against congress and this Government.

    House and Senate progressives and the tri-caucuses should aggressively push for the inclusion of a strong Public Option, Medicare expansion, and no new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. If the obstructionist kill meaningful healthcare reform, it’s failure will be on the obstructionist heads. And they will be punished and replaced.

    WITHOUT A PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE, THIS BILL WILL KILL FAR MORE AMERICANS THAN IT WILL SAVE.

    What is proposed in the Senate compromised bill is the worst case scenario for health-care reform. It would shift trillions of taxpayer, public and private dollars into the hands of the private insurance industry (The single most costly, deadly and dangerous product sold in America). And it would compel by law millions of Americans to financially support this oxymoronic criminal enterprise. You cant have a individual MANDATE WITHOUT A STRONG PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE!

    You will have NO! realistic way of controlling cost and quality. Cost will continue soaring through the roof bleeding the American people dry, and KILLing our economy. And our quality of healthcare will continue to decline below our current ranking of “WORST! quality of healthcare delivery in the developed World”.

    From the very start, the American people have been crystal clear about what they wanted. And the American people are CORRECT!! They wanted a humane single payer system like the rest of the developed world has (HR676). Or at least a humane strong GOVERNMENT-run public option CHOICE!! This is what the American people gave the democrats control of the house, control of the senate, and control of the Whitehouse to do. Including at one time a SUPER MAJORITY in the Senate.

    Those of you that can, should prepare now to remove every member of congress that fails to support YOUR healthcare reform with a strong Public Option, Medicare expansion, and no new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. Run against them in teams if you have to. But take them out. And replace them with a strong single payer or PRO PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE candidate.

    Now! is the time to bring maximum pressure on your members of congress. Contact your representatives and spread the word.

    H1N1 IS A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION!

    I have to tell you now that the H1N1 virus is a man-made WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION! and TERROR! It is a WEAPONIZED version of a flu virus. It has swept the planet infecting millions. And causing a global pandemic that has killed tens of thousands, and injured millions.

    The H1N1 virus is the product of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! It was released in the U.S. in Texas in early January of last year, but not recognized until around April 2009 in California. The reason I know this is because when it came to America, it came to see me FIRST! How sweet…

    This was around the time the MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! assaulted the Whitehouse with all their devils deals to cripple and weaken YOUR! healthcare reform. Especially your right to have a single payer system like HR676 (Medicare For All) which most of you wanted.

    They don’t even want you to have your HUGE!!! compromise position of a strong government-run MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. To compete with their DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, MURDEROUS, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PRODUCT (The single most costly, deadly and dangerous product sold in America).

    They also wanted to take away your rights to have your government meet it’s responsibility to use it’s full power to regulate, negotiate, and control drug cost, healthcare cost and quality. Something every other civilized country in the developed World has done for it’s people. Their Greed! moral degeneracy and lack of patriotism knows no bounds.

    Many of you will remember that before we knew about H1N1. I posted a open message to the President and Congress warning them to be vigilant about their health, and cautious about any medical advice they received. As I said then “they will not hesitate to try and hurt you”.

    The U.S. and the World have been under a BIOLOGICAL TERROR ATTACK! for over a year now. It is CRITICAL that We The People Of The United States take away control of our healthcare system from the GREED DRIVEN MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

    For our own National security, and the security of the world.

    A Strong, government-run, MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. Available to everyone on day one, with the full unfettered power of the federal government to regulate, negotiate, and control cost and quality. Would be the most workable way to deal with this global crisis at this time. Including patent suspensions as needed for national security or the greater good.

    As an American I invite the peoples of the World to help us fix our healthcare crisis. And bring pressure on our government to meet it’s responsibility to protect global security by controlling, and removing the corrupting influence of GREED and the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT motivations from healthcare in the U.S. and around the World.

    I call on the governments of the World and the global intelligence community to track down these MASS MURDERERS, and bring them to justice. CONNECT THE DOTS! And be vigilant that they don’t slip in another viral strain on you under the cloak of H1N1 sequestration.

    Further, the proposed patent protection on biologic’s must be stripped from the US bill. And greatly shorten/restricted, or abolished completely. This is a grave danger to humanity and global security.

    We must be strong and insist that healthcare reform be done right for the American people. Or everyone loose’s.

    This is all I can say in a message post. I’ll try to find a way to tell you more later.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

    jacksmith – Working Class

    p.s. The so-called nominal H1N1 virus is designed in such a way as to make it more lethal to children and young adults. The medical community must be more vigilant of secondary bacterial infections in the young caused by H1N1. And remember, a viral infection is also a transfer of genetic code to you. Think about it, and be vigilant. :-(

    MADAM SPEAKER, tells it like it is. :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S15BQgELDAQ

    We Want A Strong Government-Run Public Option NOW!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSdU4zKOgjs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-U6RV8oTMU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPIPxjLH0DQ

    The Voice Of TRUTH! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIyUVltB0F4&feature=player_embedded

    SHE’S BACK! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn9-ktTz2Uw&feature=player_embedded

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/01/30/debbie-wasserman-schultz-senators-lied-about-supporting-public-option/

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/01/21/fixing-health-reform-through-the-reconciliation-sidecar-13-improvements-6-ways-to-save-money-4-important-benefits/

    http://firedoglake.com/2010/01/21/ma-voters-seek-more-and-faster-change-economy-jobs-top-concern-taxing-health-insurance-very-unpopular-poll-says/

    http://firedoglake.com/2010/01/21/ma-voters-seek-more-and-faster-change-economy-jobs-top-concern-taxing-health-insurance-very-unpopular-poll-says/

  4. Keren Carter
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    From Howard Dean today:

    I’m going to fight for a public option until we get one. It really is that simple.

    The American people want the choice of a public option. I’m going to stand up for what the majority of the American people want again and again and again and I’m going to keep doing it until we win.

    Now is not the time to give up and accept less. With 40 Senators on the record in support of passing a public option by majority vote, we’ve proven that the majority of Senate Democrats are ready to get the job done. All it takes now is leadership. It only takes one senator to offer an amendment from the Senate floor to bring the inclusion of a public option to a vote this year.

    So today, we’re bringing back the bat.

    Democrats in Washington think that if they pass healthcare reform by the end of March, they’ll be done no matter what’s in the bill. But they’re wrong. If the bill doesn’t include a public option, we’re not going away and we will not forget. Send Washington a message that they understand.

  5. Meta
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    From the Huffington Post:

    The public option faces its last stand. With more than 40 senators publicly willing to vote for a health care reform reconciliation package that includes the option, the opportunity to reinsert it into the final bill has never been greater, though the battle is nearly over without having been fought.

    Sen. Dick Durbin, the Democrat in charge of rounding up votes for the health care reconciliation bill, said on Thursday that he will whip support for whatever package comes through the House. With 50 Democratic votes, Vice President Joe Biden could then break the tie and send the bill directly to the White House. If any amendments are adopted, it slows the process down by requiring the House to vote once again.

    That balance of power gives House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) extraordinary leverage of a historical nature. Pelosi, however, has yet to concede in negotiations that it is the obligation of the House to go first. And the deal that is being reached is driven largely by the White House. But both the Senate and the White House need Pelosi. And the House, of course, has already passed a health care bill with a public option.

    If the House does move first, the Senate would essentially face an up-or-down vote on whatever Pelosi sends over. Durbin was asked by HuffPost if he would whip a reconciliation package from the House that included a public option. An analysis of past statements and positions taken by members of the Democratic caucus indicates that there could plausibly be 53 votes for a public option and perhaps several more.

    Durbin, in response to the question, said at first that it was hypothetical, but then answered, “I think there will come a time when we reach agreement on what the reconciliation package includes, with the understanding that any changes in the House or Senate could slow down or stop the process.”

    So whatever comes from the House, that’s what you will whip?

    “That’s basically it,” he said. “I hope that what comes from the House is what we agree on going into this debate.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/11/the-public-options-last-s_n_495383.html

  6. EOS
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Hey Jack-

    75% of Americans have the best health care in the world. The solution for the remaining 25% shouldn’t destroy what has proven successful for the majority.

    If H1N1 is a weapon of mass destruction, then whoever paid for it should get their money back. It is an extremely mild version of the common flu.

    Those demanding a public option should pay heed to the news reports coming from Greece these days and see what happens when taxes rise while incomes fall. Add to that what the reaction of the majority may be when their government denies life saving treatment to their loved ones.

    The cost of Universal health care will supposedly come from savings in Medicare and Medicaid. These two programs have more waste and fraud than any private insurer, and the government has supposedly eliminated the waste hundreds of times already.

  7. EOS
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Keren-

    Howard Deans quote is priceless. 40 Senators are not a majority, which goes far to explain why he thinks the majority of Americans support the Democrats health bill. (Or am I missing the sarcasm font again?)

  8. Stephen
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    G Greenwald has a great piece on Salon today.

    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/democratic_party/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/03/12/democrats

    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about what seemed to be a glaring (and quite typical) scam perpetrated by Congressional Democrats: all year long, they insisted that the White House and a majority of Democratic Senatorsvigorously supported a public option, but the only thing oh-so-unfortunately preventing its enactment was the filibuster: sadly, we have 50 but not 60 votes for it, they insisted. Democratic pundits used that claim to push for “filibuster reform,” arguing that if only majority rule were required in the Senate, then the noble Democrats would be able to deliver all sorts of wonderful progressive reforms that they were truly eager to enact but which the evil filibuster now prevents. In response, advocates of the public optionkept arguing that the public option could be accomplished by reconciliation — where only 50 votes, not 60, would be required — but Obama loyalistsscorned that reconciliation proposal, insisting (at least before the Senate passed a bill with 60 votes) that using reconciliation was Unserious, naive, procedurally impossible, and politically disastrous.

    But all those claims were put to the test — all those bluffs were called — once the White House decided that it had to use reconciliation to pass a final health care reform bill. That meant that any changes to the Senate bill (which had passed with 60 votes) — including the addition of the public option — would only require 50 votes, which Democrats assured progressives all year long that they had. Great news for the public option, right? Wrong. As soon as it actually became possible to pass it, the 50 votes magically vanished. Senate Democrats (and the White House) were willing to pretend they supported a public option only as long as it was impossible to pass it. Once reconciliation gave them the opportunity they claimed all year long they needed — a “majority rule” system — they began concocting ways to ensure that it lacked 50 votes.

    (cont.)

  9. Meta
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Pelosi says the House bill being sent to the Senate will not have a public option.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Thursday that she would not include a public option in a health care reconciliation package that the House will send to the Senate.

    “We’re talking about something that is not going to be part of the legislation,” Pelosi said, noting “with sadness” that the public insurance option won’t be part of legislation. “I’m quite sad that the public option is not in there,” she said.

    Earlier Thursday, a spokesman to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Majority Whip, said Durbin would “aggressively whip” a health care bill that included a public option…

    more:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/12/pelosi-public-option_n_496559.html

  10. Mr. Wilson
    Posted March 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I feel like marching to DC with a pitchfork.

  11. Hot Knuckle Lover
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Wooohooo! Cut and paste party!

    Although all your submissions were good, I have to declare journeyman Jack Smith the winner of tonight’s frequent flier award!

  12. dragon
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Cut
    and
    .
    .
    wait…
    paste

    “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
    .
    .
    “The only thing that seems to genuinely inspire liberals to commit ruthless political acts is the sight of another liberal unwilling to compromise his principles.”

    Oops, I did it again.

  13. Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the links to those articles. Very depressing stuff, indeed… Hopefully, I’ll have time to blog about it tomorrow. I’ve got an aquarium to clean tonight.

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