Dear MoveOn member,
Senate Democrats are in intense negotiations over the health care bill right now—and apparently they're inches away from having the votes to include a public health insurance option.1
But according to CNN, The Washington Post, and others, key White House officials are instead pushing a "trigger," a mechanism that could indefinitely delay or kill the public option.2
So we're asking people like you, who worked to get President Obama elected, to join in an emergency photo petition to him right away.
We need to remind the President that we fought to elect him—and now it's time for him to fight for us. Will you put on an Obama t-shirt or button, print out our petition sign, and take a photo to send to President Obama? We're creating a rapid response web video with the photos, so the sooner the better.
Click here to get started:
Submitting a photo is really easy, and we provide step-by-step instructions. We'll send the photos to the White House, share them with the media, and use them in a new video urging President Obama to fight hard for the public option during this critical phase.
Whether President Obama decides to fight for the public option right now will likely mean the difference between winning real reform, or not.
But instead of standing up for a public option in the Senate bill, the President is at best neutral, and according to most reports, actively pushing Senate leaders toward a "trigger."3
Jacob Hacker, the Yale professor who originated the public option proposal, calls the trigger "an inside-the-beltway sleight of hand that would protect private insurers from the real competition that a strong public health insurance option would create...[The trigger proposal] is unworkable in the current Senate bills, unwise as public policy, and unwanted by the substantial majority of Americans who say they want a straight-up public option."4
So why would the White House push a trigger? Republican Senator Olympia Snowe wants one, and some sources say the President thinks getting her vote will make the bill "more bipartisan."5 Others say the White House is afraid the public option doesn't have enough support in the Senate.6
This is a leadership moment. Let's remind the president that seventy million of us voted for him last November because of his promise to challenge politics as usual, and show him that we'll fight right alongside him if he stands strong for real progressive change.
Click here to get started:
Thanks for all you do.
–Nita, Wes, Kat, Eli, and the rest of the team
1. "Schumer: Public option near votes needed to pass," The Associated Press, October 25, 2009
2. "Optional public option enters health care talks," CNN, October 22, 2009
"Prognosis improves for public insurance," The Washington Post, October 24, 2009
3. "Leaderless: Senate pushes for public option without Obama's support," The Huffington Post, October 24, 2009
5. "Optional public option enters health care talks," CNN, October 22, 2009
6. "Leaderless: Senate pushes for public option without Obama's support," The Huffington Post, October 24, 2009
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