Originally posted at The Left Shue

Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and President Obama:

We deserve a vote!

After watching you all throw any hopes for a Single Payer System under the bus and then slowly drag a “robust” public option under there as well, Progressives were somewhat placated by the consolation prize of a much watered down version of the public option in the Health Care Insurance Reform bill passed in November by the US House. Then your games began anew with the dance around “Medicare for More” being waved under our noses in the Senate; only to watch that exercise fall to the objections of former Democratic Vice-presidential candidate Joe LIEberman. And so, it became a bitter pill that despite claims that more members supported a public option than opposed it, there would be no public option in the final bill to go to the Whitehouse. But wait—-


After a year of begging for the Senate to work through reconciliation to pass a more robust form of health care reform, the path was cleared to do that when Ted Kennedy’s seat was lost to the Republicans in Massachusetts. And the dance over the public option began anew. Over 41 senators signed a letter saying they would support a public option if it came to them via the House reconciliation bill. Speaker Pelosi said that, while she supported the public option (and the House had already passed it) she would NOT include it in the House bill unless she was convinced there were enough Senate votes to pass it. Senator after senator was on record in support of a public option. At last count, at least 51 senators were on record saying they would support it if it came before them. But, alas, the Speaker refused to allow us a vote to actually test the integrity of those 51 senators. Then Senate Majority Leader Reid announced that he would not accept any Democratic amendments to the House reconciliation bill that might force the bill back to the House. Just yesterday, Colorado senator Bennett (author of the Bennett Letter) spoke from the floor of the Senate to announce he would NOT introduce the very amendment he asked his fellow senators to sign up for. He did not want to derail the process by sending the bill back to the House.

Healthcare bill headed back to the House after marathon Senate push!

So reads the headline from The Hill.com published at 3:30 am today.

“Senate Democrats defeated 29 straight Republican amendments to the Democratic healthcare reconciliation bill before losing a key parliamentary ruling in Thursday’s early hours that will force the legislation back to the House of Representatives.”

Senator Reid, the plan has been thwarted and even though you put up a gallant fight, this bill is heading back to the House. And I say, We Deserve a Vote! You can now place a public option amendment into the reconciliation package (say the exact language that was already passed by the House) and let us see who stands with us and who folds. Progressives, who have compromised at every step of this process, deserve at least this. Just a simple up or down vote – the path has been cleared. Certainly the House will pass again their own language and President Obama, who has said, if you send it, he will sign it can say that it was pushed onto him. After all the positioning and commitments made, we deserve a vote.

What will you do?

Chad (The Left) Shue



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