Bennet’s public option supporters mystified by Udall’s ‘weird’ silence

A trio of groups that has been rallying support for the public option health insurance plan is puzzled over the fact the Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall has not come out as a supporter of the plan. Udall’s silence on the matter is particularly notable given that Colorado’s other Democratic U.S. Senator, Michael Bennet, has spearheaded a push to pass the public option through reconciliation, a parliamentary procedure that precludes filibusters and requires less votes to pass. Bennet sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid last week that is gathering an expanding number of Senator signatures. Reid himself has given support to the plan.

“By not joining Mike Bennet, [New Mexico Senator and Mark Udall’s cousin] Tom Udall, and 18 other senators on the Bennet public option letter, Mark Udall is weirdly not standing up for one of the only popular health care proposals on the table. It’s time for him to take a stand — and embrace this opportunity to do the will of the people and be on the right side of history,” Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, told the Colorado Independent Monday.

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Progressive Change commissioned a nonpartisan Research 2000 poll along with Democracy for America, and Credo Action at the end of January that shows overwhelming support for the public option in Colorado. The poll tapped 600 statewide likely 2010 general election voters. The majority of respondents not only favored the public option as a way to control health care costs and provide coverage to more citizens, they also supported bold action on the part of Democratic lawmakers to push health reform through the legislative process and, as Green puts it, they favored “a good health bill over a bipartisan bill.”

The current Senate bill, which Udall supports, garners only 32 percent support from poll respondents. A bill with a public option garners 58 percent support.

Three relevant poll questions and answers:

research 2000

research 2000 b

research 2000 c   

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