Update: Durbin sent this out today:

The question is no longer if we will have some sort of public option in the final health care reform bill, but instead what form it will take.

Though he is including Rahm’s “triggers” in his definition of a public option. Which is kind of like saying Medicare Part D gave the government the ability to negotiate for drug prices.

They did get 100,000 people to opt-in, though. I’m going to guess the number would be somewhat lower if the Urgent Poll was about the misfortunes of “leaving the field of battle empty handed.”


Jerry McEntee leads a cheer for Dick Durbin

Dick Durbin is telegraphing that Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson will be successful in holding the Senate hostage on behalf of Wellpoint:

Of course there are differences of opinion on critical issues like public option. But I think we all understand we have an historic opportunity and an historic responsibility. To leave this field of battle empty handed is a terrible error and a real misfortune on our country.

Yes, yes, historic opportunity to give Ben Nelson everything he wants. We get it.

It’s a far cry from the email Durbin sent out yesterday trying to list build with a public option poll:

We already knew that a majority of Americans support the inclusion of a public health insurance option in the final health care reform bill.

But now that the results of our online poll are in, something else is now clear: the American people who voted for change last November will settle for nothing less than a robust public option.

Over 80,000 people have responded to our poll, proving Americans know the difference between a strong public option and a weak one — and a weak one just won’t do.

Eighty per-cent of Durbin’s responders voted for a “50 state public option.” So he starts talkin’ tough:

I am sharing these results with my colleagues in the Senate this week. If any member of the Democratic caucus thinks no one will notice the absence of a robust public option in the final health care reform bill, they have another thing coming.

I guess he was impressed with Harry Reid’s list-building effort off the public option, too. Yeah team.

Are they really so slimy that they think it’s okay to get people ginned up about something they’re getting ready to ditch? That they can get people to “forward to a friend” and get everyone excited because hey, Dick Durbin’s gonna fight for us?  Do they really believe that one of those patented “for the greater good” speeches will then be enough to bridge the giant chasm between what they’re saying and what they’re actually doing?

And more to the point — Durbin didn’t write that fucking letter, neither did Harry Reid. Do their online people really think they can burn the entire online left community by manipulating them so shamelessly on something that is this important to them, and that nobody will remember?

Here’s Durbin’s contact form, ask him.

Durbin’s full letter below the fold.

Dear Kobe,

We already knew that a majority of Americans support the inclusion of a public health insurance option in the final health care reform bill.

But now that the results of our online poll are in, something else is now clear: the American people who voted for change last November will settle for nothing less than a robust public option.

Over 80,000 people have responded to our poll, proving Americans know the difference between a strong public option and a weak one — and a weak one just won’t do.

Click here to review the results of our public option poll.

Median Preference Ranking Summary

Our poll results show that Americans want the strongest possible public option that can pass the Congress:

* Four out of five survey respondents voiced full support for a “50 state public option.”

* A majority of respondents voiced moderate to high support for a public option that includes a state “opt-out” provision.

* Roughly three out of four survey respondents voiced little or no support for a public option bill that requires states to “opt-in” before they can participate, and

* Only 12% of respondents voiced moderate to full support for a so-called “trigger,” with 65% completely opposed to such a compromise.

Click here to review the results of our public option poll.

I am sharing these results with my colleagues in the Senate this week. If any member of the Democratic caucus thinks no one will notice the absence of a robust public option in the final health care reform bill, they have another thing coming.

I hope you’ll take a moment to review the results of our poll as I continue pushing for the strongest possible public health insurance option to pass the Congress. Your feedback will no doubt help me make the case that Americans demand a public health insurance option that is made available to Americans in all 50 states starting on day one.

Thank you for your engagement on this critical issue.

Sincerely,

Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator

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