The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has departed from the White House and its Democratic Party brethren: it's seeking to rally its supporters around the public option.
In today's edition of a semi-regular email to supporters, called @Stake, the DCCC asked recipients to sign a petition supporting the government-administered insurance plan, touting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pledge to pass a bill with the public option and bring it to a House-Senate conference committee.
DCCC Executive Director Jon Vogel wrote in the email:
This week, Speaker Pelosi got America one big step closer to enacting health insurance reform that includes a strong public option. As the Speaker said, "We will send our negotiators to the table with a strong public option." This late-breaking momentum for the public option is all thanks to you.
But it's too early to celebrate. With the Republican defenders of the status quo now digging in even harder to kill reform, we need to keep the pressure on.
If you haven't already, sign our petition telling Republican Leader John Boehner that you support a strong public option. We will send him your comments.
Politically, President Obama and the Democratic National Committee are neutral on the public option: they firmly support it, and they've stumped for it all along, but the president has never said it's a necessary condition for health reform. Not since the early days of the reform push have they used the public option as a rallying cry for supporters. Since parts of the Democratic coalition oppose it--and since it has long seemed unlikely to pass--they haven't staked themselves on it.
But the public option is more popular among Democrats in the House than in the Senate, and Pelosi is making a public push to get it passed. Apparently the DCCC has followed suit.