From Talking Points Memo:
Five leading Democrats--including Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin--have publicly announced that they will vote for a public option if it's offered up during the budget reconciliation process, where legislation can pass with a majority vote.
"Sen. Durbin has long been a supporter of the public option," reads a statement from Durbin spokesman Joe Shoemaker to the progressive groups Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, and Credo. "I don't know whether the votes exist in the Senate right now, but if the House version of the public option came up for a vote in reconciliation Sen. Durbin would vote yes."
Similar statements were also issued from four other senators: Patty Murray (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
full article here: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/...
Since we're going the reconciliation route anyway, why not make the HCR bill as excellent as possible? After all, the Public Option is more popular than the current House/Senate/POTUS bill. I say go for it.
If it turns out not to be feasible, I'll still get behind whatever passes, but this could wind up being the most helpful element to aiding Democratic prospects in the 2010 elections.
UPDATE 1: Just got an email from boldprogresives.org regarding a push for the Public Option. Here's a snippet:
This week, President Obama gave Republicans one final chance, and the verdict is in: Bipartisanship on health care is dead.
No Republicans will vote for health care reform. The only question now is whether Democrats will push for a good, popular bill with a public option -- or keep pushing a wildly unpopular bill in blind pursuit of "bipartisanship."
Can you join over 200,000 others in signing this message to Congress?
here's the link to sign the petition: