Public Option Close to Vote in House [Update]
by Shaun Appleby, Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 02:06:20 PM EDT
Crossposted at The Motley Moose
The Medicare+5 public option is apparently eight votes short of passage in the house according to Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ):
The robust public option is eight votes short of the 218 it needs to pass the House, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) tells HuffPost.
Grijalva, as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has been counting support for a public option tied to Medicare rates -- the so-called Medicare plus five -- over the last few weeks.
"We anticipate that we're at 210," he said. "We feel that the momentum is all on the robust Medicare plus five public option."
Grijalva said that "25-plus" Democrats have said they will vote no. "Some of those no's are no regardless. It has nothing to do with the public option," he said, putting the number of those firm no-votes at 18 or 19.
There are 256 Democrats in the House. With 25 or 30 no votes, that leaves only about 15 to 20 members still to decide. Progressives need roughly half of them.
He says that backers of the public option are focusing on those persuadable Democrats rather than negotiating with members who will vote no.
Ryan Grim - Public Option Within Eight Votes Of House Passage, Says Rep. Grijalva Huffington Post 21 Oct 09
If you favour a public option it's probably time to do a little homework on your local representative and exert some political will if necessary.
This is a stunning opportunity to get the House measure passed, and Speaker Pelosi is looking for some daylight:
Nancy Pelosi is ready to rumble. The House Speaker told her Democratic caucus Tuesday night that she plans to bring a health care reform bill with a robust public option to the House floor for a vote, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) tells HuffPost. But first she needs to know that the party is with her.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus has been tallying support for a public insurance option tied to Medicare reimbursement rates over the last several weeks. According to people in the room Tuesday night, Pelosi told her members that the caucus is close to the 218 votes needed to pass the bill. She went on to say that the few remaining undecideds - or undeclareds - needed to let Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) know by Wednesday where they stand.
The caucus will meet again Wednesday evening to retake the Democratic temperature. If the 218 votes are there, the party will plow forward and go to conference committee negotiations with a strong hand.
Ryan Grim - Pelosi To Dems: Time To Take A Stand On Public Option Huffington Post 21 Oct 09
Let's give her a hand. Dr Howard Dean has provided a website with the tentative whip results for every member of the house here:
In addition to your emails, Democracy for America members and our partners have made calls to Congress and reported back the results to Stand With Dr. Dean. We have compiled the reports from those calls and combed through public statements of every member of Congress. Based on a complete review of your reports and our research, the grid below lists every member of Congress and their basic position on the inclusion of a public healthcare option.
Where Congress Stands Stand with Dr Dean
Check out your representative, you might be surprised that they are a 'don't know' at this late stage in the debate. If so, email them your thoughts, this can be done directly through the House of Representatives website at Write Your Representative.
Additionally, the Health Care Action Center on Obama's Organising for America website has a range of connectivity options for getting your message out, including Tweets, telephone contact tools and email and Facebook shares, though it does not specifically mention the public option in any of the boilerplate messages. OFA, incidentally, has been doing yoeman work in providing a platform for getting the message through with a phone-banking effort which began on Tuesday:
It's not even noon on the West Coast and already Capitol Hill staffers say they're getting nonstop calls from constituents in support of President Barack Obama's health insurance reform. At about 2:15 EST, Organizing for America (OFA) surpassed it's goal of 100,000 phone calls to Congress, each one imploring representatives to vote for reform.
The nationwide "Time to Deliver on Health Reform" event is the most massive outpouring of support from Obama supporters since Election Day 2008.
Dawn Teo - Congress "Getting Completely Crushed" With Over 100,000 Calls For Obama's Healthcare Reform Huffington Post 20 Oct 09
Since then the number has exceeded 300,000, three times the target. We are not alone.[Update:] From The Hill today:
Speaker Nancy Pelosis (D-Calif.) drive for a public option in healthcare reform ran into turbulence Thursday when a survey of her caucus showed she needs more votes to pass such a bill.
The survey ordered by Pelosi turned up 46 Democrats who said they would vote against the so-called robust public option, according to a Democratic lawmaker who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Mike Soraghan - Whip count shows Democrats lack votes on 'robust' public option for healthcare The Hill 22 Oct 09
It is hard to believe that some of these Democrats oppose the legislation due to concerns that it is not single payer, about the income surtax it would impose on the wealthy or the fear it would subsidise abortion. You gotta' wonder sometimes.
Representative Weiner points out that as the numbers approach 218 lots of representatives get a bit precious about the power of their votes. Sigh. It was ever thus. Worth reading the article and perhaps ringing the holdouts mentioned if they're yours.