HCR has been sent back to the House. Nothing, absolutely nothing - except the will to do so, of course - is preventing the House from putting the Public Option back into the bill and sending it to the Senate to pass 50 votes. The Senate HAS the votes. The House HAS the votes. And as we've just seen, the bill is filibuster proof. The Repugs came and went last night at 2:45 am. It's totally in the Dems hands now.
The Democrats are naked. They have no more excuses NOT to pass a public option. As Huffpost writer Ryan Grim rightfully points out:
The Senate is now free to put to the test that much-debated question of whether 50 votes exist for a public option. Democrats could also elect to expand Medicare or Medicaid, now that they only need 50 votes in the Senate and the approval of the House.
The question then becomes whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could pass the reconciliation changes with a public option. She has long maintained that the House has the votes to do so.
Well does the House have the votes?
According to Majority Whip James Clyburn, when asked just this Wednesday, the answer is and emphatic
So there are no more excuses. If the Dems are really on our side, then this bill should ultimately pass WITH a public option.
Afterall, as David Sirota pointed out,
Let's take Sen. Michael Bennet (D) and some Colorado progressive groups at their word when they say the only reason they have previously opposed offering a public-option amendment to the Senate reconciliation bill is because if it passes, the bill would then have to be sent back to the House.
Well, now it's going back to the House anyways. The House has said they have the votes. The New York Times calls this
a rare chance to enact it with a simple majority, a chance unlikely to come around again soon.
The Democrats are naked now, for all the world to see.
Tens of thousands of people dying due to the greed and avarice of a corrupt, immoral system. They have the power to fix it and no more excuses to hide behind.
Let me repeat: The Democrats have no more excuses NOT to pass a public option.
This is an historic moment 60 years in the making. Will Americans finally get what they deserve or will Harry Truman be rolling over in his grave? This is do or die for the Democratic Party. Their defining moment.
They're naked now.