March 1st, 2010
02:13 PM ET
4 years ago

Liberal group tries to round up votes for public option

Sen. Dick Durbin is one of five senators who submitted a statement in support of passing a public option by way of reconciliation to a liberal group over the weekend.
Sen. Dick Durbin is one of five senators who submitted a statement in support of passing a public option by way of reconciliation to a liberal group over the weekend.

Washington (CNN) - A liberal group that last week said the White House has a "loser mentality" is continuing to round up support for using the parliamentary maneuver called reconciliation to pass a health care public option.

"Robert Gibbs had a loser mentality when he said 50 votes don't exist in the Senate for the public option when well over 50 existed before," Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green told CNN. "We're going to prove him wrong."

The PCCC has added five senators to its list of those who have expressed support for using reconciliation - which requires a simple 51-vote majority in the Senate - to pass a public option.  The number of senators who support the cause now totals 30.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin's office is among the five senators to submit a statement to the PCCC this weekend.


"Sen. Durbin has long been a supporter of the public option," Communications Director Joe Shoemaker told the PCCC.  "I don't know whether the votes exist in the Senate right now, but if the House version of the public option came up for a vote in reconciliation Sen. Durbin would vote yes."

Sens. Patty Murray, Jeff Bingaman, Ben Cardin and Amy Klobuchar sent similar letters of support.


Filed under: Dick Durbin • PCCC
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. David

    The President and the Democrats in Congress need to be more aggressive and bring the Bills to the Floor. If the Republicans want to Fillibuster, let them do it. I think it is an idol threat and will destroy them if it is proven they are not willing to accept something as American as "Majority Rules"

    March 1, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. ran

    There is a public option in the House bill so we can get the public option because we do not need Lieberman's vote.

    To the Republicans: no reconciliation if no filibuster on the bill that comes out of the House/Senate conference. Agree.

    I did not think so. The fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans have no intention of voting for any bill no matter what is or is not in it.

    So reconciliation now. No more talk. No more delay.

    March 1, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Too True For You

    I don't see where we gain anything if we don't reduce costs, and the ONLY way to reduce costs without just passing more overhead onto the shoulders of consumers (in other words, more regulation) is competition.

    First, eliminate anti-trust exemptions for insurance companies. Why should they be exempt, when you see huge companies monopolizing entire states and regions?

    Second, create incentives for pooling and new entries into the market that are unaffiliated with the big monopolies with the proviso that they must remain independent for 10-20 years. That way they will focus on growth and not the quick buck.
    .
    Third, if there is pushback on the above, then have the public option as the nuclear option. It is the worst alternative of competition sponsored by government, but it is far better than status quo.

    You would have to be an idiot who has never had to use what passes for coverage these days if you think our system "works".

    March 1, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Bob in Pa

    Communist Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green told CNN. "We're going to prove him wrong."

    March 1, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. jp,michigan

    I hope that they cannot get the votes needed. They also won;t get the votes in the house. Re-election will stand in the way. Health-care can proceed slowly in increment's. Take care of fraud, regulate insurance companies and let people buy insurance across state lines. Money saved in medicare , by limiting fraud, should go back to medicare and the government needs to pay back what was borrowed from social security.

    March 1, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Debby

    Maybe the PCCC should check with the Mayo Clinic before wanting this healthcare bill pushed. They will NOT be using Medicare if there are any more cuts.

    March 1, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. didi

    way to go....pass this health care...ok

    March 1, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    You consumerbots still don't get it. None of the hare-brained schemes being hatched in Washington by either party to deal with healthcare can possibly succeed for one simple reason: demographics. Guess who turns 65 this year. The first baby boomers. I will be laughing while your premiums double and "hockey moms" and "guys who drive pickup trucks" and other "real Americans" lose their coverage. Once the whole system fails, we will get single-payer, not-for-profit healthcare like every other developed country on the planet. The boomers will make sure of it, because it's really all about them, isn't it? It'll take about 15 years or so to go through this whole painful process. Think about how many more people your company could afford to hire if the burden of paying their share of employee health benefits suddenly disappeared. Have a nice day!

    March 1, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. Kevin in Ohio

    Keep it up Liberals.... your days are numbered because you are not LISTENING. If any part of this travesty of a bill comes to the President's desk for signature, it will be a conclusive sign of the utter corruption and hypocrisy of the left.

    The only good that can come out of pushing this bill through using reconciliation is that republicans will have the ability to use the same methods to un-do it come January.

    March 1, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. one voice

    Like Bill Clinton Said "forget the Republicans". The GOP could care less about lower costs for average Americans. They are in bed with big business to allow them to rip off the American taxpayer. The Republican goal is to eliminate the middle class for a society based on kings(republicans) and servants(all the rest of the population). How does 4 dollars an hour sound teabaggers?

    March 1, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. A.E.

    "I don't belong to an organized political party-I am a Democrat"! Will Roger's words were never more accurate than today

    March 1, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Ken in NC

    I'm a Democrat that must admit Republicans have two things going for them that Democrats lack. Republicans can be wrong on an issue but they will make a decision, follow their leadership and be wrong at the top of their voices.

    Even when some of them do not totally agree with their leadership, they will still unite and follow their leadership. This is not always good but they are consistent. Democrats on the other hand cannot unite. Each acts as if he or she must have his or her own way. That is the weakness of the Democratic Party and it serves only to strengthen Republicans. Republicans do not have to give valid points against Health Care as long a Democrats are fighting each other. Republicans have only to keep the ball rolling and they are doing a dam good job of that.

    March 1, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Justin

    Give me the Public option and you will continue to get my vote.

    March 1, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. valwayne

    And the attempt to shove the massive corrupt multi-trillion mess called the healthcare bill goes on and on and on! The Democrats won't stop no matter what the voters think!!!!! Arrogance and corruption!

    March 1, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. james

    There have to be a majority in the House, too, and Pelosi doesn't even have 150 votes in the House.

    March 1, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Matt in UT

    What do liberals and progressive democrats have against real reform. You can implement cost-saving measures without overhauling the system.

    Also, government interference in the private sector is what is driving up the costs of healthcare. Over 50% of healthcare is already paid by the government (via Medicare, Medicaid, VA, S-CHIP...) at lower rates that the private sector pays (thus, we pay more to make up for that cost).

    March 1, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    We Want A Public Option

    March 1, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Ancient Texan

    You "progressives" still are unable to understand.....The American People Do Not Want this smelly, corrupt package designed to take over Healthcare in America. What part of NO! is so hard to understand?

    March 1, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    I find the Rhetoric completely unacceptable and unnecessary.
    Remember, as a general rule, we're on the same team.
    You could say that you think the president is wrong, that YOU BELIEVE that the Public Option IS a viable option, and there IS enough support to get it through, WITHOUT calling names.

    If we won't be civil to each other, why should we think that the "Loyal Opposition" will ever be civil to us? Why should they?

    March 1, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. chinadoll

    it's time to stop playing politics and thinking of ones self and get the public otpion passed

    March 1, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. Mike in MN

    Liberal already created two huge entitlement programs that are well on their way to bankrupting the U.S. They are called Social Security and Medicare.
    Both serve well those who are getting benefits. But that can not last much longer unless something is done to fix them.
    Both parties have betrayed the trust of voters for decades with the financial missmanagement of both of these programs. For decades both programs took in more money than they spent out and had a surplus. This surplus was not set aside. Instead it was spent on the general budget, bloating the level of spending on the general budget beyond the acutal general budget funds.
    Now both of these programs are running a deficit as they are paying out more money than they take in. The surplus they generated over the last several decades is long gone and there is no surplus in the bloated general budget to help out. In fact the general budget is running a deficit also.
    So far neither party has shown the guts or know how to fix Social Security or Medicare. Until they do, voters should not allow politicans the opportunity to betray their trust a third time with a new entitlement program that will wind up joing Social Security and Medicare in bankrupting the U.S. of America.
    Once we go bankrupt, and that won't take long at the pace we are going at now, there won't be any money for any kind of government benefits for anyone.

    March 1, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. I voted for Obama and proud of it in Oregon

    we want a public option get with it with or with out republicans and if you are up for re-election vote yes on a public option you will get re elected :)

    March 1, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. JonDie

    The only ways to reform the corrupt insurance industry to a) create a public option and b) create an insurance regulation commission that can block the obscene rates being charged by insurance companies.

    March 1, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. mkielm

    One of the few health care reform initiatives that has overwhelming public support, and could make the individual mandate much easier to take for a majority of those affected. No brainer, but we're still missing 20 dem votes! And many of them wont be re-elected no matter what they do – nice to see them standing up for their constituents!

    March 1, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Dean

    Without a public option the other bill has no teeth, The insurance companies will continue to bleed us dry.

    March 1, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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