The public option in the Democrat's health care reform package, known to Michele Bachmann as a communist conspiracy, looks like it may have risen from the dead, and four Minnesotans on Capitol Hill -- Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and Reps. Keith Ellison and Jim Oberstar -- all Democrats -- are pushing for its inclusion in a final version of the bill to be worked out in conference committee. Franken, Ellison and Oberstar has also signed a letter authored by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., in support of the move.
Klobuchar, in a statement to the press:
I am supportive of a senate vote on the House bill version public option which is based on negotiated rates. I do not support a public option based on Medicare rates because it exacerbates geographic disparities that already hurt Minnesota. I have made my views on this issue clear to leadership already.
Franken, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
We have spent the better part of this year fighting for health reform that would provide insurance access and continuity to every American in a fiscally responsible manner. We are concerned that - absent a competitive and continuous public insurance option - health reform legislation will not produce nationwide access and ongoing cost containment. For that reason, we are asking for your leadership on ensuring that the merged health reform bill contains a public insurance option.
Keith Ellison, via Twitter:
Progressive! Don't be discouraged; be ENCOURAGED. Public Option is within grasp if you ACT NOW! Call your Senator! Say: Support PO#! 8:04 AM Feb 18th
Have you urged your Sen to join letter to Sen Reid push for Public Option in Reconciliation? Whadaya waiting for? Sen. Franken's on! 8:02 AM Feb 18th
Calling all Progressives who support Public Option & choice, competition, access for all. Support the growing movement in the senate! 5:24 PM Feb 16th
Thank Sens. Brown,Bennet, Gilibrand & Merkley for urging Reid to have vote on Public Option w/ reconciliation rules. Your Senator? 5:21 PM Feb 16th
Oberstar, on the floor of the House: