Progressive Whip Count IN, And We Have the Numbers...
by art3, Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 11:29:10 PM EDT
We have some major developments on the Hill tonight. The whip count from CPC is complete and was shown to the leadership today. According to the Hill at least 150 House members have signed on to a Medicare tied PO. Of great NOTE -46 DEMS SIGNED A LETTER TO PELOSI STATING THEY WONT SIGN ON TO THE BLUE DOG NEGOTIATED RATE PO. Also, they stated they WILL NOT VOTE FOR A NON MEDICARE PO.
46 is crucial. If 39 dems say no to the bill its dead. HuffPo has quotes from Grijalva and Woosey. Woolsey says more than half the prog caucus is telling leadership no unless the PO tied to Medicare plus 5 rates is in the bill. They are trying to hold a number of lines. Clyburn is pushing a state by state PO deal while House progs try and fight it. The Carper plan seems to be going nowhere as of now.
It looks to me its up to Pelosi and the progs here once again. Pelosi seems to shifting towards the Waxman compromise PO with HHS negotiating rates. Can you see in 2017 Prez Pain's HHS negotiating rates for YOU??? But Rep Grijalva notes 2 things-One it will cost more, Two: he says HHS negotiated rates is not a real PUBLIC OPTION. That is significant. It seems the Progressive leadership in the House is lining up behind what most House dems want- a Medicare linked PO. The fact that Blue Dogs are wildly opposed to such a cost saving PO, which tells me a lot. This isn't about cost now is it? Big Pharma hates it. We need to keep calling CPC members on this! For Pelosi to go with the some Blue Dogs for a weak PO at best is not acceptable.
Oh and Sen Reid-when will YOU get it? We want an INCLUSIVE PO LIKE MEDICARE TO PICK IF WE WANT TO. Well progressive groups are making it clear Reid will be subject to a serious campaign if he fails yet again the grassroots of his own party.
Progressives Deliver their Whip Count on Medicare PO:
Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus met with House Democratic leaders Thursday afternoon to reiterate their commitment to a strong public option tied to Medicare reimbursement rates. ... The progressive caucus has been whipping its members to find out how committed the bloc is to oppose any bill without a public option tied to Medicare reimbursement rates. CPC leaders delivered the tally, which co-chair Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) described as "significant," to leadership at the meeting. Co-chair Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said "the great majority of our caucus" stands behind a public plan that would reimburse at a rate 5 percent above Medicare, rather than a public option that must negotiate with insurers on its own. "We're not on negotiated rates," Woolsey said.
Progressives said they believe their position is pretty clear. "We're just reaffirming what we say over and over again," Grijalva said. "We plan on Medicare plus five. There's a great deal of caucus support for it. They asked us to do this count, and we provided it."
In the meantime, some members are looking at a proposal from Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) for state-run public plans. Given that the federal health reforms on the table wouldn't take effect until 2013, "I've just been saying that I think we ought to be doing some pilots in that three-year period in order to see what best practices can be developed," Clyburn said, claiming that he's heard "a lot of receptivity" among Congressional Democrats.
Progressives told the Huffington Post they were somewhat skeptical of Clyburn's proposal -- and a similar one offered by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) -- but many said they'd reserve judgment until they saw more details. "People are going to try to ferret out how it could work," DeLauro said. Single-payer crusader Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said he'd consider supporting any amendment that strengthens the ability of states to create a single-payer system, but he was unsure whether or not state-run public options would do so.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said she expects President Obama to join Pelosi in pushing for cost reduction. "I feel confident that the White House will weigh in on a bill that makes health care affordable for the middle class," she said. "That's the Speaker's litmus test, I think that'll be his litmus test, and he will weigh in."
Pelosi May Shift to Blue Dog PO w/Negotiated Instead of Medicare Plus 5, But CPC Had a um Something to Say on That...
Liberal and centrist leaders agree that the debate is moving in the direction of negotiated rates. It's disappointing to liberal leaders, who scrambled Wednesday and Thursday to prove that their Medicare-based version had overwhelming support among Democrats.
"The momentum is to pass something," said Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.). "For some people, negotiated rates is the easiest path. But negotiated rates effectively kills the public option."
Liberal leaders brought the names of 150 Democratic supporters of the Medicare-rates approach to a meeting with Pelosi on Thursday, according to a Democratic source. It's not clear if that was enough to get her to shift back to that approach...
But Grijalva noted that 46 members recently signed a letter pledging to vote against the centrist plan. In the numbers game of the House, that is significant, because Republicans are expected to unite against the healthcare bill. So if 39 Democrats oppose the plan, it wouldn't get the 218 votes needed to pass. There are 52 Blue Dogs, as well as many other centrist members not in the coalition.
Progressives Prepare to Pressure Reid to Include Public Option in Senate Health Care Bill
Brian Beutler | October 1, 2009, 12:59PM
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Major progressive organizations see a golden opportunity to resurrect the public option, and are preparing a campaign, which will include television ads in Nevada, to pressure Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to get on board.
Such a move would likely alienate Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), the only Republican working with Democrats on health care reform, and require Democratic leaders, including Reid and President Obama to make sure all 60 Democrats stand united when Republicans try to block the bill--a tall order, and one Reid doesn't seem prepared to meet.
"If Harry Reid does not have the leadership skills to get 60 votes for cloture and give a Democratic president an up-or-down vote on health care, progressives will help defeat him in 2010, even if that means Republicans take that seat," said the head of one progressive organization, who's still working out the detail of the campaign. "There is no use for Reid's vote if 60 Democratic votes means nothing on cloture, and no use for Reid's leadership if his leadership is so blatantly ineffective."
That might not be such a troubling threat if Reid, who's up for re-election in 2010, wasn't suffering at the polls.
Leadership, which will work with the chairmen of both the Finance and HELP committees, along with White House officials, when it cobbles together the final bill, says its main concern is ensuring that any bill that reaches the floor has 60 votes for cloture. And though that would likely be easier in absence of a public option, conservative Democrats and Republicans would still be able to have their say by introducing an amendment to strip it from the bill. That amendment would also likely require 60 votes, and would almost certainly fail. But it would give skeptics a chance to go on the record.
A call to Reid's office for comment on the coming ads was not immediately returned.
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/ 10/progressives-prepare-to-pressure-reid -to-include-public-option-in-senate-heal th-care-bill.php?ref=fpb