ACW Release

September 17, 2009
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Campaign calls on Congress to pass reform including 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 real reform with majority votes. The campaign, called America Can't Wait, focuses on the strong Congressional and grassroots support that exists for a public option. "At least 218 House and 51 Senate Democrats have said they would vote for the final healthcare bill if it included the choice of a public option rather than vote against the bill and kill reform," said Dean, a lead advocate for a public option. "Thats means Congress has the majority votes needed to pass a public option today." Members of the House and Senate who have said they will vote yes can be found at www.americacantwait.com. A robust healthcare reform plan, including the choice of a public option, can be passed in a budget bill by a majority vote in the U.S. Senate, instead of the 60 vote-minimum that some think is necessary. Numerous budget scholars and experts on Senate procedure agree, says Dean. Stan Collender, a contributing editor at the National Journal, contributing writer for Roll Call, and author of The Guide to the Federal Budget, is an expert and frequent speaker on the budget. Reconciliation has become such a standard part of the budget process that using it for health care would be neither surprising nor precedent-setting," he said in a Roll Call column. The Senate has passed numerous major reforms, including the Bush tax cuts and funding for the Iraq War, using reconciliationmore than 25 times in history. Democracy for America Chair Jim Dean underscores the grassroots support for a public option. The majority of Americans want healthcare reform with the choice of a public option that keeps insurance companies honest, lowers costs and increases service, Jim Dean said. Our members are joining with President Obama in calling on Congress to get the job done." Last week, CBS News released a poll that showed support for a public option has increased since the Presidents speech to Congress. And in a CNN national poll, two out of three Americans who watched Obama's health care reform speech now favor his health care plans, a 14-point gain. "Now is the season for action. The majority of Americans want it, and majority votes in Congress will pass it," said Gov. Dean. ###

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