Woolsey To Introduce Public Option Bill ASAP

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) | Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/edlabordems/3616565929/">edlabordems</a> (<a href="http://www.creativecommons.org">Creative Commons</a>).

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


Liberal legislators are among those who cheered the loudest for the passage of the Democratic health care bill on Sunday—but they’re not done yet. Lynn Woolsey, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said after the vote that she would soon advance a separate bill for a strong public option.

“I’ll introduce a robust public option the day that the President signs this legislation into law,” Woolsey said as she left the House floor on Sunday evening. “We have more work to do, and we will do it.”

Woolsey said that the other members of the progressive caucus would support the bill to create a government-run health insurance plan, but added they hadn’t signed onto the proposal yet. She noted that other members of the caucus would be working on separate items “immediately.” Though she didn’t give details, such proposals are likely to include a repeal of the anti-trust exemption for insurance companies and other measures that had been dropped in order to woo moderate and conservative Democrats.

Obama may sign the health care legislation as earlier as Monday or Tuesday this week, before the reconciliation fixes to the bill go to the Senate for a vote. If the public option is put on the table again before the Senate votes, according to Woolsey’s plan, the politics could become tricky. At that point, Democrats will still be making a huge push to celebrate the main bill and convince the public of its merits. And it’s uncertain how reviving the public option once more will play out as Democrats try to unite themselves behind the bill and Republicans scramble to sharpen their opposition to it. While the public option has been the main rallying cry for progressives critical of the concessions made to moderates and industry groups, reform’s supporters have spent an enormous amount of energy and political capital to pass the comprehensive bill. Will liberals gear up for the next fight so soon after the big battle has been won?

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.