Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The public option is NOT dead

Dear MoveOn member,

Have you read the stories this week declaring the public health insurance option dead? Well, it's not.

The public option has the support of 83% of the American people,1 and enough progressives in the House to block any bill without it.2,3 And contrary to what you may have read, the White House has said repeatedly their position hasn't changed.4,5

But there is real danger in the Senate, where conservatives have stepped up efforts to kill the public option.

Can you call Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand right away? They have spoken out in support of the public health insurance option. Can you call and thank them for their support and make sure they know voters are counting on them to go to the mat for the public option right now?

Here's where to call:

Senator Charles Schumer
District Offices:
    Albany: 518-431-4070
    Binghamton: 607-772-6792
    Buffalo: 716-846-4111
    Melville: 631-753-0978
    New York: 212-486-4430
    Peekskill: 914-734-1532
    Rochester: 585-263-5866
    Syracuse: 315-423-5471

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
District Offices:
    Albany: 518-431-0120
    Buffalo: 716-854-9725
    Melville: 631-249-2825
    New York: 212-688-6262
    Rochester: 585-263-6250
    Syracuse: 315-448-0470

Then, please report your call by clicking here:


After several weeks of protests by angry right-wing extremists, the media is itching to write the story of the administration backing down. The truth is, President Obama has said all along that he wants a public option—it's the key to keeping insurance companies honest. And just yesterday the White House reiterated that a public option is the best way to increase competition, expand coverage, and bring down costs.6 

Now, more than ever, the Senate needs to hear that the public health insurance option is non-negotiable, and that the American public is counting on the lowered costs and increased access the public option will bring.

Our demand for real reform is getting through in communities nationwide, thanks in big part to MoveOn volunteers organizing events across the country. Check out the latest:

  • At a debate in Dallas, Texas, the MoveOn Council brought over 120 people—far outnumbering right-wing protesters.7 Photos of MoveOn members at the event ran in the New York Times.8
  • MoveOn members around the country have been tenacious in getting through to key senators. In the last two weeks, members have had face-to-face conversations with senators in Indiana, North Dakota, Maine, and Nebraska.
  • In Boulder, Colorado, pro-reform constituents packed a town hall with Rep. Jared Polis. The message they sent was positive, respectful, and crystal clear. As the local television station put it, "Hundreds urge Polis to keep fighting for 'public option.'"9
But we also need to make sure the word is getting heard in every single Senate office—and with the media frenzy, calling now is more important than ever. Can you call Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand today and make sure they hear from you right away that you're counting on them to amp up the fight for a real public health insurance option?

Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Kat, Stephen, Daniel and the rest of the team


1. "New Poll Shows Tremendous Support for Public Health Care Option," Blog for Our Future, June 15, 2009.

2. "60 Members of Congress Say 'No Public Plan, No Conference,'" Firedoglake, August 17, 2009.

3. "Weiner says health plan without public option won't fly," The Examiner, August 17, 2009.

4. "White House Issues Q&A on Health Plan," The Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2009.

5. "White House Insists 'Nothing Has Changed' on Public Health Insurance Option," ABC News, August 17, 2009.

6. "White House Issues Q&A on Health Plan," The Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2009.

7. "Joint health care reform debate remains peaceful in Dallas," Dallas Morning News, August 18, 2009.

8. "Alternate Plan as Health Option Muddies Debate," The New York Times, August 17, 2009.

9. "Hundreds urge Polis to keep fighting for 'public option,'" KDVR, August 17, 2009.

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PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to eddie alfaro on August 18, 2009. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.

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