President Obama will hold a conference call with progressive leaders on health care reform early this afternoon, a day after they sent him a letter requesting a meeting "as soon as possible" and reiterating their call for health reform that includes a robust public option, without a so-called "trigger."
The House Progressive Caucus's two co-chairs, Reps. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), will be on the call, their offices have confirmed; the two sent a letter to the Obama yesterday requesting a meeting and saying they oppose the "trigger" mechanism, recently floated by the White House, under which a government-run health insurance plan would be created if private insurance companies fail to meet certain market requirements.
"We look forward to meeting with you regarding retaining a robust public option in any final health reform bill and request that that meeting take place as soon as possible," Woolsey and Grijalva wrote.
They, along with 58 other liberal House Democrats, have threatened to vote against health care legislation that doesn't include a public option. In an interview yesterday, Woolsey said she's skeptical that such a trigger would ever get pulled.
"We have Part D Medicare as our example. There's a trigger that was the compromise in that legislation, and it's never been pulled, and there are all kinds of problems with Medicare Part D, and we've never pulled the trigger so that there could be a public plan in that," Woolsey said.
"It should have been pulled and it never has been, and I doubt that it ever will be," Woolsey said. See a copy of the letter below: