Final push: Public-option support groups pressure Pelosi

In the eye of the health reform storm, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been backing away from the public health insurance option for weeks, despite a drive spearheaded on the Hill by Colorado lawmakers Rep. Jared Polis and Sen. Michael Bennet to include the option as the best way to truly extend coverage and restrain costs. That drive has been backed by a progressive-activist coalition with solid polling data to support its claims that voters favor the public option. That coalition, which includes the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America and Credo Action, is raising $75,000 to buy airtime to run an ad targeting Pelosi and meant to end the backpedaling.

The ad includes footage of key senators endorsing the public option. The coalition is looking to buy air time in Pelosi’s San Francisco district and in Washington. The ad closes with TV-drama-style music swelling and two sentences on the screen: “The Senate has the votes. The public option is in Pelosi’s hands.”

Politico reports that Pelosi’s office has repeated her position that reinserting a public option will scotch deals made with conservative Democratic blue dogs and tinkering now with the bill will lose votes in the Senate.

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