Adam Green, of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, told Ed Schultz yesterday that he counts 51 votes in the senate for the public option, and cites details on senators who have not yet signed the letter, but who have clearly publicly stated that they will vote FOR the public option if they get that bill from the house.
Nancy Pelosi has said the votes aren't there, so she won't include the public option in the House legislation. Read this and try not to be angry.
Green told Ed Schultz, "In some cases a commitment is better than a signature." and goes on to assure Ed, "...We can say with confidence that are at least 51 votes for the public option in the senate IF the house goes first. "
He describes how his organization's own whip count of 41 has been used against them. But he then documents senator after senator who has spoken out or written to constituents saying they will support the public option.
"There are lots of commitments that are in the bag that indicate that the public option is in the bag, if, if the house went first.
Kay Hagen, from North Carolina, not on our list yet, told the Huffington post this week, that she would support a public option-- her only reservation-- that the house bill would pass.
Claire McCaskill told us this week on video four times she supports the public option.
Tom harkin was on your show, he said, that the only thing holding him back from supporting the public option publicly, was whether the votes were there in the house. Well, obviously if the house goes first and passes it to the senate, he would be there.
Same with Jay Rockefeller. Jay rockefeller said in his statement that everybody uses to say that he's against the public option that he is adamantly for the public option. His only question is viability. Well, if the house pass it is and it goes to the senate, and he's the final, final vote, there's no doubt he will be there.
Herb Kohl, today, e-mailed his constituents, it was reported to us by multiple people, and he said flat out, "I support the public option." Of course, he wants to look at the final bill, but if it's the final final bill, he's going to be there.
Mark Begich told us on-camera this week that the public option is not make or break for him but he's happy to support it as long as overall health care reform passes. Again, if the house pass it and comes out to his vote, he's not going to be against it.
That's tha brings us up to 47, ed. We're going to post all of this at Whipcongress.com. But wait. There's more.
Max Baucus. He issued the original White Paper, supporting the public option. He voted against it in the finance committee. He said, "I'm only voting against it because I don't believe the votes exist," but if the house passes it and it comes out to his vote there's no doubt that he will do what he's always done, be a team player and vote for it.
Mark Warner and Jim Webb-- have been publicly on the record. Jim Webb signed a letter with Sherrod Brown demanding the public option, a few months ago. Mark Warner said, quote, "I want to make sure that there are some competitive alternatives to the insurance companies" and he has supported the public option in the past. He would not be final vote against it.
That brings us up to fifty, by the way.
And number 51, Robert Byrd, one of the Ted Kennedy's best friends in the senate, has been a champion on this stuff all along. He indicated this week for the first time that he is comfortable with the process of reconciliation and there no s no way in hell that he would vote against his friend Ted Kennedy's final wish, to pass comprehensive health reform.
That's one more vote than is needed (and there's always Biden too) the house can say with confidence that if they pass the public option, the votes will be there in the senate. No doubt about it.
Do you think it's time to tell YOUR member of congress to tell Nancy Pelosi to reconsider?
Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and site architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), President of Futurehealth, Inc,