( - promoted by Daniel De Groot)
So, the White House doesn't think there are enough votes to pass the public option through reconciliation:
Speaking at the daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked again why the administration did not include the government-run insurance option in its final health care proposal in light of the fact that 23 Democratic senators signed a letter calling for its passage.
"We have seen obviously that though there are some that are supportive of this, there isn't enough political support in a majority to get this through," Gibbs responded. "The president... took the Senate bill as the base and looks forward to discussing consensus ideas on Thursday."
How do we know Gibbs is right? We don't. He claims there are not enough votes, but he dd not provide evidence to substantiate that claim.
We have been counting votes here on Open Left. With the addition of Senator Inoyue this morning, there are now 25 Senators on the record as favoring passing a public option through reconciliation. Tom Carper is about ready to make it 26. Six are opposed, and six others are likely supporters.
It is true that there are not enough Senators on record to pass the public option at this time. However, there are also not enough opponents on the public record to rule it out. For the public option to truly be dead, ten Democratic Senators have to state that they will never vote for it under any circumstances. That hasn't happened.
The White House could simply prove that there are not enough votes to pas the public option by listing the Senators who would oppose it. However, they haven't provided any names--just a vague claim that there are not enough votes. There is no proof to back up Gibbs' claim.
It isn't just the White House or the public option, either. Progressives are consistently told that there are not enough votes to pass a wide variety of legislation. However, the people making these claims rarely, if ever, actually provide a list of opponents proving that there are not enough votes. Even though that is exactly the sort of public service that political journalism should provide, and even though that is exactly the sort of transparency people deserve from their government, neither the established political media nor the government is willing to provide it.
Give us some proof. I will believe there are not enough votes to pass the public option after ten members of the Democratic caucus go on record opposing it. And, even then, as long as we only need to change a handful of votes, I will keep fighting.