Thursday, September 3, 2009

House Progressives: No Public Option, No Support

Greg Sargent:

In a letter delivered to the White House moments ago, the two leaders of the bloc of House progressives bluntly told President Obama that they will not support any health care plan without a public option in it — and demanded a meeting to inform him face to face.

The not-yet-released letter — the first joint statement from progressives since news emerged that Obama might not address the public option in next week’s speech — is their sharpest challenge yet to the president, given the extraordinary sensitivity of this political moment. The letter urges him to mention the public option in his speech.

“Any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, a public option built on the Medicare provider system and with reimbursement based on Mediare rates — not negotiated rates — is unacceptable,” reads the letter, which was sent over by a source. It was signed by Reps. Lynn Woolsey and Raul Grijalva, the two leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

It's been a question burning for those of us supporting a public option as the only viable way to reduce costs in a health care reform bill, whether or not the Progressive Caucus would take a stand. Some are balking at the idea, as it means Progressives will essentially be joining Republicans in opposition to the bill if it doesn't contain a public option.

For perspective, I'd like to remind everyone of just how frustrating you've found the Blue Dogs through this, and how many times you've wondered how they became so influential while representing just a small portion of a large House.

This is how they did it.

It's not the preferred outcome, but if the caucus is forced to, and stands firm in opposition to reform without a public option, the caucus will be more seriously consulted in the drafting of future legislation, and not just those bills pertaining to health care.

Big picture time, if it comes to them voting against the bill.

No comments:

Post a Comment