From Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake here.
When Howard Dean made a statement saying that he would vote for the public option opt-out over the Baucus bill, many took that as an endorsement. But it was so loaded down with caveats I had a hard time believing that it represented the ringing endorsement that many assumed it was.
Charles Chamberlain is the the Executive Director of DFA, the grassroots political organization founded by Howard Dean. I asked him where DFA stood on the opt-out. His response:
Every American deserves the choice of a public option, not just those who live in Democratic states. Further, it is impossible to allow states to opt-out and still be a national plan. It would be a morally unacceptable compromise if Democratic Senators let Republican states opt-out because too many Americans would continue to suffer and in some cases even die without health coverage. It’s time for Democrats to stop negotiating with themselves in an attempt to get Republican votes. The majority of Americans want a public option and are depending on the Democratic Majority in congress to pass real reform with a national public option available to everyone on day one. We have the majority votes needed in both houses of Congress to pass a public option now. It’s time to get the job done.
Proponents of the veal pen opt-out argue that it’s necessary because there “aren’t 60 votes in the Senate” for a public option. What they are saying is that there are members of the Senate Democratic caucus who would take the unprecedented step of joining with the opposition party to break a filibuster-proof majority and keep their own bill from coming to the floor.
But they have failed to produce even one Senator who will publicly say that. . . .