Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Return of the public option?

We can save health care reform by giving a bill with a public option a fair up-or-down vote in the Senate. Can you call Rep. McCarthy and urge her to sign a letter in support of the public option?

Representative Carolyn McCarthy
Phone: 202-225-5516

Report your call

Dear MoveOn member,

The best way to rescue health care reform is also the best chance for Democrats to prevail at the polls in November: pass a health care bill with a public option through the Senate using an up-or-down vote.

Reform with a public option has strong support in both houses of Congress, and from the majority of the American people.1 In fact, the public option is far more popular than the Senate bill that passed without it.2 But because of a few conservative obstructionists, it's been taken off the table.

Not anymore. Tomorrow, progressive champions in Congress are sending a letter urging Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring a bill with a public option to the floor through a rule called "reconciliation" that would allow it to pass with a simple majority.3

They need more signatures immediately to send a powerful message in support of a fair up-or-down vote on real health care reform. Can you call Representative Carolyn McCarthy right away and urge her to sign the "Polis-Pingree" letter supporting the public option?

Here's where to call:

Representative Carolyn McCarthy
Phone: 202-225-5516

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

The letter, written by Rep. Jared Polis from Colorado and Rep. Chellie Pingree from Maine, makes the following points:4

  1. The public option is overwhelmingly popular. A December New York Times poll shows that, despite the attacks of recent months, the American public supports the public option 59% to 29%. And a recent Research 2000 poll found 82% of people who supported President Obama in 2008 and Scott Brown for Senate last week also support the public option.
  2. The public option will save billions for taxpayers. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the public option will save taxpayers anywhere from $25 billion to $110 billion and will save billions more when private insurers compete to bring down premium costs.
  3. There is strong support in the Senate for a popular public option. It is very likely that the public option could have passed the Senate, if brought up under majority-vote "budget reconciliation" rules—for which it would clearly qualify as budget-related.

Can you call Rep. McCarthy right away?

Representative Carolyn McCarthy
Phone: 202-225-5516

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

Thanks for all you do.

–Kat, Eli, Laura, Michael, and the rest of the team


1. Final vote results on passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, November 7, 2009

"Senate Public Option Scoreboard," The Washington Independent, September 16, 2009

"Most in U.S. Want Public Health Option: Poll," Reuters, December 3, 2009

2. "Poll: Public Option Way More Popular Than Senate Health Care Proposal,", December 10, 2009

3. "House Progressives Push Reid To Put Public Option Back On Table," Huffington Post, January 27, 2010

4. Draft letter to Sen. Harry Reid from Reps. Jared Polis and Chellie Pingree, January 27, 2010

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