This is a stunning opportunity to get the House measure passed, and Speaker Pelosi is looking for some daylight:
Nancy Pelosi is ready to rumble. The House Speaker told her Democratic caucus Tuesday night that she plans to bring a health care reform bill with a robust public option to the House floor for a vote, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) tells HuffPost. But first she needs to know that the party is with her.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus has been tallying support for a public insurance option tied to Medicare reimbursement rates over the last several weeks. According to people in the room Tuesday night, Pelosi told her members that the caucus is close to the 218 votes needed to pass the bill. She went on to say that the few remaining undecideds - or undeclareds - needed to let Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) know by Wednesday where they stand.
The caucus will meet again Wednesday evening to retake the Democratic temperature. If the 218 votes are there, the party will plow forward and go to conference committee negotiations with a strong hand.
Ryan Grim - Pelosi To Dems: Time To Take A Stand On Public Option Huffington Post 21 Oct 09
Let's give her a hand. Dr Howard Dean has provided a website with the tentative whip results for every member of the house here:
In addition to your emails, Democracy for America members and our partners have made calls to Congress and reported back the results to Stand With Dr. Dean. We have compiled the reports from those calls and combed through public statements of every member of Congress. Based on a complete review of your reports and our research, the grid below lists every member of Congress and their basic position on the inclusion of a public healthcare option.
Where Congress Stands Stand with Dr Dean
Check out your representative, you might be surprised that they are a 'don't know' at this late stage in the debate. If so, email them your thoughts, this can be done directly through the House of Representatives website at Write Your Representative.
Additionally, the Health Care Action Center on Obama's Organising for America website has a range of connectivity options for getting your message out, including Tweets, telephone contact tools and email and Facebook shares, though it does not specifically mention the public option in any of the boilerplate messages. OFA, incidentally, has been doing yoeman work in providing a platform for getting the message through with a phone-banking effort which began on Tuesday:
It's not even noon on the West Coast and already Capitol Hill staffers say they're getting nonstop calls from constituents in support of President Barack Obama's health insurance reform. At about 2:15 EST, Organizing for America (OFA) surpassed it's goal of 100,000 phone calls to Congress, each one imploring representatives to vote for reform.
The nationwide "Time to Deliver on Health Reform" event is the most massive outpouring of support from Obama supporters since Election Day 2008.
Dawn Teo - Congress "Getting Completely Crushed" With Over 100,000 Calls For Obama's Healthcare Reform Huffington Post 20 Oct 09
Since then the number has exceeded 300,000, three times the target. We are not alone.
[Update:] From The Hill today:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) drive for a public option in healthcare reform ran into turbulence Thursday when a survey of her caucus showed she needs more votes to pass such a bill.
The survey ordered by Pelosi turned up 46 Democrats who said they would vote against the so-called "robust" public option, according to a Democratic lawmaker who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Mike Soraghan - Whip count shows Democrats lack votes on 'robust' public option for healthcare The Hill 22 Oct 09
It is hard to believe that some of these Democrats oppose the legislation due to concerns that it is not single payer, about the income surtax it would impose on the wealthy or the fear it would subsidise abortion. You gotta' wonder sometimes.
Representative Weiner points out that as the numbers approach 218 lots of representatives get a bit precious about the power of their votes. Sigh. It was ever thus. Worth reading the article and ringing the holdouts mentioned if they're yours.
Crossposted at MyDD