ACW ReleaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Campaign calls on Congress to pass reformincluding a public option using majority votes.
Burlington,VTDemocracy for America and its founder, Gov.Howard Dean, launched a new campaign today calling on Congress to pass realreform with majority votes.
The campaign, called America Can't Wait,focuses on the strong Congressional and grassroots support that exists for apublic option.
"At least 218 House and 51 SenateDemocrats have said they would vote for the final healthcare bill if itincluded the choice of a public option rather than vote against the bill andkill reform," said Dean, a lead advocate for a public option. "Thatsmeans Congress has the majority votes needed to pass a public optiontoday."
Members of the House and Senate who have saidthey will vote yes can be found at http://www.americacantwait.com.
A robust healthcare reform plan, including thechoice of a public option, can be passed in a budget bill by a majority vote inthe U.S. Senate, instead of the 60 vote-minimum that some think is necessary. Numerousbudget scholars and experts on Senate procedure agree, says Dean.
Stan Collender, a contributing editor at the National Journal, contributing writerfor Roll Call, and author of TheGuide to the Federal Budget, is an expert and frequent speaker on the budget.Reconciliation has become such a standard part of the budget process thatusing it for health care would be neither surprising norprecedent-setting," he said in a RollCall column.
The Senate has passed numerous major reforms,including the Bush tax cuts and funding for the Iraq War, using reconciliationmorethan 25 times in history.
Democracy for America Chair Jim Deanunderscores the grassroots support for a public option.
The majority of Americans want healthcarereform with the choice of a public option that keeps insurance companieshonest, lowers costs and increases service, Jim Dean said. Our members arejoining with President Obama in calling on Congress to get the job done."
Last week, CBS News released a poll thatshowed support for a public option has increased since the Presidents speechto Congress. And in a CNN national poll, two out of three Americans who watchedObama's health care reform speech now favor his health care plans, a 14-pointgain.
"Now is the season for action. The majorityof Americans want it, and majority votes in Congress will pass it," saidGov. Dean.