Folks, health care reform is going to start moving very, very quickly in Washington, so here's an update on where things stand now, what's likely to happen in the near future, and what we all need to do in this final stretch to ensure that our voices are heard loud and clear in this debate.
But first, a moment of thanks to each and every one of you. Thanks to all your hard work - the months of phone banking, emailing, calling your reps, showing up to defend town halls from birthers, deathers and astroturfers - we've gone toe-to-toe against a million-dollar-a-day health insurance lobbying Goliath and come out on top.
It's no longer about if we get a public option, but when, and what that public option will look like.
The House is finally expected to bring a bill to a vote some time next week. The Senate, hopefully, will quickly follow. We have to pressure the leadership in the Senate, House and yes, even President Obama, to make sure the strongest possible public option is included in a final bill.
The strategy here is to get the Senate to bring a bill to the floor with the public option intact, and for the House to pass a far stronger bill, one with a public option tied to Medicare rates +5%. The goal would be to marry the two bills together later in conference, and if we're able to preserve a public option tied to Medicare rates in the House, we're likely to keep that all the way to President's desk to be signed into law.
OK, got all that? Good. Here we go.
We need you to call the leadership with some very specific messages.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Tell him, "You must bring a bill to the floor of the Senate that has the strongest possible public option. No triggers, co-ops or delays."
House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Tell her, "You must lobby Democrats to support a robust public option
tied to Medicare rates, +5%"
The White House
Tell President Obama, "You must use your power to pressure Democrats in the House and Senate to pass a strong public option. No triggers, co-ops or delays."
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Tell them, "We need you to support a strong public option. No triggers, co-ops or delays."
Rep. Jane Harman
(Jane Harman not your representative? Click here to find your rep and their phone number)
Tell her, "We need you to support a robust public option tied to Medicare rates, +5%"
SIGN THE PETITION
The Progressive Change Campaign is sending a clear message Senate Democrats: It's not OK for Democratic senators to join with Republicans to block a vote on health care. Period. Any Democratic senators who support a Republican attempt to block a vote on health care reform should be stripped of their leadership titles. Americans deserve a clean up-or-down vote on health care.