Gov. Howard Dean, MD/DKos—We’re in the final stretch in our campaign for healthcare reform including a public option.
The good news is we’re winning.
I know that sometimes it is hard to tell. After all August was a brutal month filled with right-wing fear mongering and misinformation. Whether led by Glenn Beck, FOX news or Rep. Joe Wilson, too many Americans were told to disrupt Town Halls rather than participate in them. And of course the media covered every moment of it.
But the real story of August is that these scare tactics didn’t work. Support for President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Plan which includes the choice of a public health insurance option has increased since the beginning of August.
This is a testament to the fact that you never gave up. All summer we worked together to make sure Congress got the message that inclusion of a public option in any healthcare reform bill passed this year is non-negotiable. And every time Republicans tried to kill it or the insurance industry claimed it’s already dead, you stood up and proved them wrong.
Now what we keep hearing is that Congress doesn’t have the votes to pass a public option.
Once again, thanks to your help, we have proven them wrong…
We’ve asked everyone in Congress where they stand. At least 218 House and 51 Senate Democrats have said they would vote for the final healthcare bill if it included the choice of a public option rather than vote against the bill and kill reform. That’s means Congress has the majority votes needed to pass a public option — TODAY. You can check out Chris Bower’s post on OpenLeft.com from last night if you want more specifics on the Senate count.
Now is the season for action. The majority of Americans want it. Majority votes in Congress will pass it. Join President Obama in calling on Congress to get the job done this year.
As I said in my message to the members of Democracy for America earlier today, it’s a myth that it takes 60 votes to pass any bill in the U.S. Senate.
It’s a myth because while any Senator can attempt to block most Senate bills with a procedural tactic called the filibuster there are exceptions. Senate rules don’t allow filibusters of certain bills that affect the budget. That’s means the healthcare reform plan including the choice of a public option can be passed in a budget bill by a majority vote in the U.S. Senate.