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

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


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 whipcongress.com, 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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17 Responses to Pelosi Feels the Heat from Progressives for Failing to Insist on the Public Option

  1. libhomo says:

    SF needs to vote that Gopper out of office.

  2. As a native San Franciscan, I was appalled that voters didn’t toss Pelosi out of office in the last election.

    However, I predicted Pelosi would breeze into San Francisco and remind voters how special they are to call the City by the Bay home, and entertain them with a few anecdotes about what a moron George W. Bush is, and voters would lap it up like soft ice cream on a hot summer day.

    And you know what? I was correct and voters sent Pelosi back to Washington for 2 more years.

  3. DMason says:

    The current mentality in Washington is, a weak bill that doesn’t include the public option, is preferable to no bill. Curious thinking. Every poll I’ve seen says the overwhelming majority of Americans support the public option. Yet, Pelosi and Reid are tone deaf to the desires of the American people.

  4. Walk on Socks says:

    Pelosi is running around like a chicken with its head cut off, making claims that simply aren’t true.

    She says there are no votes for the public option when in fact, 41 senators signed a letter to Obama pledging to support it. You need 9 more votes and Biden casts the tie breaker. Done! Obama signs it and we move on.

    Too bad the current leadership is made up of wimps and refuse to lead.

  5. feminazi says:

    I heard President Obama speak about healthcare in Ohio yesterday. He said the bill in its current form is paid for. I understand what he’s saying but, it sounds to me like the current bill is based on the assumption that the insurance companies can be trusted to play fair and not raise their rates on the elderly and the disabled. I would trust a hungry lion before I trusted the insurance companies to do what’s right for the American people.

  6. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    Pelosi is just a San Francisco socialite.

    But what the hell happened to Kucinich? Obama takes him for a ride on Air Force One and he tosses his values and morals out the window as the Big Bird flies over Cleveland.

  7. Estacada says:

    Insurance can still deny pre-existing conditions under this bill.

    The premiums will quadruple and the Feds will pay for it.

    Sure, the bill fines the abusing insurance company $100.00 per day but this is chump change when they’re covering cancer treatments that cost $10,000 a week.

    The Public Option would’ve erased this issue but alas, Pelosi and Reid don’t want us to have it.

  8. Harry says:

    Hey, look at the bright side. Rush Limbaugh promised to move to Costa Rica is the healthcare bill passes.

  9. Fran says:

    What a mess. A Public Option, or Universal health care coverage would have been optimal. But early on, that was not allowed to be on the table- from higher up than Pelosi. The current bill is absolutely a watered down version of health care reform.
    Let’s look at the facts:

    • In the entire house & senate– the GOP gave two- count them two votes in favor of health care reform. Thats TWO votes out of 219 republicans in congress.

    • Of the 253 dems in the house, they are scrambling to garner 216 of them to vote in favor.

    • They are having to resort to Reconciliation to get a simple majority- because the Blue Dog dems are walking in lockstep with the GOP.

    This is the reality. If passing this watered down version is so hellishly difficult, what makes us think a stronger version would fly?

    The GOP says let’s start over, because that is just another stalling tactic.

    Another year has gone by.
    This country is in financial ruins. We are paying 60% of the total budget to military/defense. So if they worry about funding health care- by all means cut the military budget.

    We have to get our foot in the door, to later kick the door open & get into more serious reform. I can’t endorse an all or nothing idealism, because people are in dire need of health care now.

    We don’t need more division at this time, we need to unite & start making changes.

    Here is a parting thought. …. the last time health care reform was attempted was in 1994 in the Clinton era. 16 YEARS have passed without health care reform even being on the table for consideration. Let’s not sabotage the little ray of hope we have for this baby step.

  10. Fran says:

    About pre existing conditions:

    The Senate bill has a provision in it for a temporary high risk pool to be created not later than three months after the HCR bill is signed, and which will be in place until 2014. Those who are enrolled in the high risk pool would then be transitioned over to an Exchange plan.

    The criteria for being able to obtain coverage in the high risk pool is: that one is a US citizen, that one has not had insurance for six months prior to the date of applying for the coverage, and that one has a pre-existing condition. The criteria is not limited to children.

    “Sec. 1101” in HR 3590, entitled, “IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO INSURANCE FOR UNINSURED INDIVIDUALS WITH A PREEXISTING CONDITION” specifies what I’ve just posted. If you know something I don’t, so be it. But if you take a look and see that your statement was not correct, I really hope you will get the word out that it was in error. There’s enough going on right now without people further having the bejeesus scared out of them.

    Also, there is a similar high risk pool passage in the House bill, except, they did not have a requirement for a pre-existing condition as part of the criteria to join the high risk pool, just a requirement that you wouldn’t have had insurance in the prior six months before applying to it.

  11. mbmdl says:

    House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) said the House’s healthcare vote could be delayed until as late as Easter. Maybe this is a good thing? It’s clear there is much to be worked out and adding back the public option and getting nine more votes is two of them.

  12. jacksmith says:

    ATTENTION!! – THEY NOW! HAVE 51 VOTES FOR A PUBLIC OPTION. DEMAND PASSAGE OF YOUR! PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE!

    Tell Speaker Pelosi the public option is in her hands. Sign the petition: http://bit.ly/d8MqhL

    The Problem: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-mogulescu/ny-times-reporter-confirm_b_500999.html

    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

    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/

  13. Scott Dancer says:

    I usually agree with most of the comments here but not this time.

    While this bill isn’t perfect, it is a starting point. A template if you will to build on. We can add things to it — like the public option, and legislation to close the donut hole and increased penalties for insurance companies caught breaking the law the prevents discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.

    I honestly think, if this bill doesn’t pass, we will be in deep trouble because health care reform will not be taken up in 2011 or 2012.

  14. Randy Arroyo says:

    I keep hearing Social Security was phased in over time and in stages. The same with Medicare. I’m not a political Einstein so maybe this is how a perfect health care bill will work? I just know this process has gone on so long that I think there are other issues the voters care about that aren’t being addressed. We need to put a period at the end of this sentence.

  15. R.J. says:

    I don’t understand why Congress is dragging its heels in regards to the wishes of the American people. We want a public option and what we have now doesn’t work.

    Do y’all see a steady stream of Canadians using our health services? Didn’t think so.

  16. JollyRoger says:

    I’m with Scott Dancer on this, as are Howard Dean and Paul Krugman. They see the possibilities. We have to as well.

  17. HalfGay says:

    This is so frustrating. We have all been screwed on this and now we unfortunately are forced to decide whether to support no change at all or a tiny bit of change. Either way it is a difficult pill to swallow.

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