In the House, the public option tied to Medicare rates has 200 confirmed supporters. However, that appears to include the leadership at this point. Further, the count will drop to 199 when Robert Wexler leaves Congress, and his replacement will not be sworn in before the health care vote. The CA-10 and NY-23 special elections will both take place on November 3rd, with the former guaranteed to send another public option supporter to Congress and the latter guaranteed to send a public option opponent.
Worth noting: Of the four dozen undecided and "lean no" members the Progressive Caucus is targeting at this point, half were first elected in 2004, 2006 or 2008. As such, it really shouldn't be difficult for the overall House leadership to pass a public option with Medicare +5% rates if they wanted to. If they want access to the party treasury for re-election, then they better not sink the policy aims of the overwhelming majority of the party.
"It's not fair to ask people to facilitate the enactment of policies with which we ultimately disagree," said moderate Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). "So the closer we get to the end of the process, the more, for me, the process and policy will be one and the same."
It isn't fair, eh? How about the fairness of the Senate elevating itself to unicameral status through its culture of 60-votes? Is it "fair" to use the filibuster to destroy the branch of Congress that actually has equal representation for the American people?
Worth noting. The progressive netroots are generally credited, even by some insiders I have talked with, for pushing Bayh out of the Vice-Presidency. Could he be angling for revenge, by targeting the top legislative priority of the progressive netroots for defeat?
(click on the ad to see the animated, flash version)
This is going to allow us to expand the ad campaign from Roll Call and The Hill to the Washington Post, specifically targeting people in D.C. who read about health care news. A lot of people in D.C. are going to know that a lot of people outside D.C. know exactly the run of play on the public option and congressional process.