DFA members call on the Senate to pass a public option through reconciliation
DFA members provided strong grassroots support for this letter, calling on Harry Reid to bring the public option back up for a vote. These senators and others who signed on had calculated, not in small part due to DFAs work gathering over 250,000 signatures and organizing thousands of calls to Congress, that one of the main reasons the healthcare bill was unpopular was the fact that it didn’t include a public option.
DFA issued a joint statement with the PCCC and Credo Action: “This is a historic moment in the fight to give Americans the choice of a public option and Senators Bennet, Gillibrand, Merkley, and Brown deserve immense praise for their leadership. Every day, it becomes increasingly clear that the best way to 'fix' the original Senate bill is to pass the highly popular public option through reconciliation. It's the populist reform that the House will need to pass both bills together and the key change Democratic and Independent voters will need in order to believe in health care reform again and show up in 2010.”
In an coordinated effort on the House side, Freshman Reps Chellie Pingree and Jared Polis introduced a companion letter. The letter read: "It is very likely that the public option could have passed the Senate, if brought up under majority-vote 'budget reconciliation' rules. While there were valid reasons stated for not using reconciliation before, especially given that some important provisions of health care reform wouldn't qualify under the reconciliation rules, those reasons no longer exist."
What started with just a handful of signers ultimately gained over 119 signers in the House. This happened thanks to strong grassroots pressure from Democracy for America members and our partners.