Since Monday, activists from Firedoglake, CREDO, and Democracy for America helped put in hundreds of calls to progressive Members of Congress to find out where they stand on triggers and opt-outs in the final health care bill.
With the Senate still to consider its bill, it’ll be a matter of weeks and months before the House votes on the final health care bill. This final bill – commonly called the “conference” bill – will be a merged version of the bill passed on Saturday by the House and whatever comes out of the Senate.
Our strategy is to get Members of Congress to commit to oppose a final bill that has triggers or state opt-outs, with the goal being to shape the bill before it comes to a vote. As Jane noted yesterday, we may need as few as 13 Representatives to take this pledge in order to win. But we should line up as many as we can.
So where do progressive members stand on triggers and opt-outs? To be honest, there seems to be strong opposition to triggers, but Members are not tipping their hands on opt-outs. It’s unfortunate, since opt-outs will allow conservative states to deny their citizens the right to purchase the public option insurance.
Here’s some of what your call reports have shown so far.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-07)
Definitely opposing triggers AND opt-outs in final bill.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA-06)
Unknown on triggers or opt-outs – office refuses to commit, will only say that Woolsey:
“will only support a bill if it has a strong public option.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-09)
Unknown on triggers, leaning towards supporting opt-outs. Caller reports:
“When pushed on whether Rep Lee would oppose a final bill with triggers and/or opt out, the staff person said the thing is that this maybe a one time chance to do something. I think this may mean that Rep Lee is willing to vote for almost any bill.”
Rep. Bill Delahunt (MA-10)
Definitely opposed to triggers and opt-outs. From a caller:
Delahunt’s on board! Spoke to staffer.
Rep. Robert Wexler (FL-19)
Unknown on triggers or opt outs. Caller reports:
“He supports a strong public option, but no commitment.”
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Differing reports from this office on triggers. Some callers report that Blumenauer definitely will oppose a bill with triggers, others report a reluctance to commit. All callers agree his stance on opt-outs are unknown.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX-25)
Definitely opposing triggers, undecided on opt-outs. Doggett’s office is actively telling callers about his concern about Texas being opt-ed out from the public option. A caller reports:
I also expressed my concern with a state opt-out since I live in Texas. They agreed that would be an issue for us. I emphasized that while it was watered down from where I think it should be, I’m happy we’re at least moving forward.
Rep. Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Definitely opposing triggers, undecided on opt-outs. A caller reports:
Strong supporter of public health care, will oppose a trigger, but admin didn’t know his stand on state opt-outs.