Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pelosi Feels the Heat from Progressives for Failing to Insist on the Public Option

From the Left: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who failed to demand a public option be included as part of any comprehensive healthcare reform bill, is under attack from progressive groups and organizations. They are mounting an aggressive campaign to resurrect it as Democratic lawmakers prepare to pass what’s left of President Obama’s final healthcare bill this week via a budgetary process known as reconciliation.
Democracy for America, Credo Action, and the Progressive Campaign Change Committee (PCCC) raised $75,000 for a 60-second spot that will air on MSNBC, CNN and a local station in Pelosi’s home district of San Francisco. The ad challenges false assertions she made last week that the public option does not have enough support from Democratic lawmakers in the Senate to be included as one of the amendments in the reconciliation bill.
On the website, the groups calculated that the public option has enough votes to pass the Senate and list the names of Democratic senators who have either signed a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid supporting the public option or, have made statements saying they would back it or would “likely” cast an “aye” vote if it were introduced as part of the final package of legislative fixes.
According to the letter sent to Reid, 41 Democratic senators have signed thus far, an “overwhelming majority of Americans support a public option.” Yet, aides to Pelosi have said it’s “highly” unlikely the measure will be considered during reconciliation.
Pelosi, it seems, is so desperate to get any healthcare reform bill passed and declare a victory before the November midterm election that she would prefer to pass a watered down healthcare bill that accomplishes little for the more than 48 million Americans who lack health insurance. This isn’t leadership: it’s capitulation.
Watch the Act Blue ad here:

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