Senator Schumer has added his name to the letter supporting the public option. It stands to reason since it’s his “level playing field” public option.
The signatories so far: Sens. Bernie Sanders (VT), Al Franken (MN), Patrick Leahy (VT), John Kerry (MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Michael Bennet (CO), Sherrod Brown (OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Jeff Merkley (OR), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Roland Burris (IL), Barbara Boxer (CA), Jack Reed (RI), Tom Udall (NM), Barbara Mikulski (MD) and Frank Lautenberg (NJ).
Several others, meanwhile, have pledged their support for the public option without having signed the letter.
This whole thing will either begin to take shape for real next week, or it will die (again) next week. One way or another, we’ll have a stronger sense about the public option’s fate on or around the Thursday summit.
I wonder when the firebaggers will freak out and insist that senators retract their pledge because it’s the negotiated public option and not the Medicare +5 public option.
Adding… From Rachel Maddow last night:
Maddow: “The private insurance company writ large hasn’t done a great job. That’s why we want a public option to compete with them. These 18 Democratic senators want to bring that back into the fold. If that happened, would the administration fight for it?”
Sebelius: “Well, I think if it’s…Certainly. If it’s part of the decision of the Senate leadership to move forward, absolutely.”