Updated: Al Franken is among 21 20 senators – one fifth of the Senate – who have signed a letter urging Majority Leader Harry Reid to use reconciliation to pass health care reform with a public option, and two others, Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar and Iowa’s Tom Harkin, haven’t signed but indicate their support. Now, via the Plum Line, comes an interesting survey that shows they might be onto something: in some states, including Minnesota, the public option has more support among voters than the current Senate bill.
The poll, conducted by Research 2000, finds that among 600 Minnesotans surveyed, only 35% support the Senate bill, while 62% support the public option. (The numbers are identical in Harkin’s state.) Here are the survey’s national and Minnesota results; it was commissioned by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), Democracy for Action and Credo Action.
Klobuchar is singled out by Adam Green, co-founder of PCCC, for not signing onto the letter to Reid. His statement references Klobuchar’s comment to the Minnesota Independent that she supports the House version of the bill and would “want to make sure that the bill contains the Medicare care cost reform measures included in the existing bill.”
“By not joining Al Franken, DSCC Chair Robert Menendez, and 18 other senators in signing the public option letter, Amy Klobuchar is weirdly refusing to fight for one of the only popular health care proposals on the table,” Green said. “Her excuses for not signing make no sense – the letter doesn’t say a word about Medicare rates and it actively uses numbers that pertain to the House public option, which is not tied to Medicare. If Klobuchar signs the letter, she’ll be heralded as a hero locally and nationally – but if she doesn’t sign, she’ll be signaling to Minnesota voters that they can’t count on her to fight when it really counts. That would be unfortunate.”
Update: On Monday afternoon, South Dakota Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota signed onto the letter.