Sixty House Progressives: We’ll Kill Any Health Care Bill Unless It Has A Public Option

August 18, 2009 4:59 a.m.

Sixty House Democrats have warned the Obama administration–in no uncertain terms–that they’ll vote against a health care bill unless it contains a public option.

In a letter sent yesterday to Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus write, “We stand in strong opposition to your statement that the public option is “not the essential element” of comprehensive reform.”

We have attached, for your review, a letter from 60 Members of Congress who are firm in their position that any legislation that moves forward through both chambers, and into a final proposal for the President’s signature, MUST contain a public option.

The letter comes in response to recent statements by members of the administration, which calls into question their commitment to the public option.

You can read yesterday’s letter here. The 60 signatories are the 57 who signed this, separate letter, plus three more. Back in July, progressives warned House leaders that a number of concessions to Blue Dog Democrats would have to be reversed if the final legislation was to stand a chance on the House floor. Those differences were quickly papered over, but they were also much smaller differences. Now, they’re letting it be known that they will oppose any legislation–the House bill or the conference report–will die if it doesn’t contain a public option.

Your move, Senate.

Late update: The 60 members on board include the 57 listed here, along with new additions Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) Robert Wexler (D-FL), and Gregorio Sablan, a non-voting delegate from representing the northern Mariana Islands.

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