Are There Enough Votes For a Public Option? Here's the Math
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At the request of Speaker Pelosi, the Congressional Progressive Caucus is currently undertaking a whip count to see if there are enough votes to pass a health care reform bill in that chamber with a "robust" public option (that is, a public option tied to Medicare rates, +5%).
As I reported on Friday, they began this whip count a couple weeks ago, interrupting their whip count of House Progressives who would vote against a health care reform without a robust public option to do so.
Yesterday, anonymous Blue Dog aides told Politico that Progressives had found only 145 votes for the robust public option during this whip count. This morning, Greg Sargent reports that Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Raul Grijalva's office is claiming a much higher number, around 180:
"I am confident that we have the support of over 70% of the Democratic Caucus," Grivalva said in a statement emailed my way. That means according to him, around 180 of the 256 Dems in the House are prepared to back the robust public option right now.
Sargent is correct, not the anonymous Blue Dog aides. I know this, because I have the actual numbers. As of Friday, here is where the whip count stood:
Chris Bowers was a full-time editor at MyDD from May 2004 until June 2007. Some of his projects have included the creation of the Liberal Blog Advertising Network , the first scientifically random poll of progressive netroots activists , the Use It Or Lose It campaign, the nation's most accurate forecast of Democratic house pickups in 2006, and the 2006 Googlebomb the Elections campaign.