UPDATE: Over 65,000 signers!
The White House is urging senators to cave to Joe Lieberman, who opposes any real health reform. But if senators fight, they can pass a bill with just 51 votes -- making Lieberman irrelevant. Please sign this petition to progressive Senators Russ Feingold, Bernie Sanders, Roland Burris, and Sherrod Brown:
PETITION: "Don't let Joe Lieberman win! Americans need you to stand strong and block any 'compromise' without a strong public option. If necessary, demand that Sen. Harry Reid and President Obama support budget reconciliation and pass a bill with just 51 votes -- at which point, Joe Lieberman will be irrelevant and the public option can be made even stronger."
Key Democrats have said they won't support a bill without a strong public option:
BERNIE SANDERS: "[A]t the very least there should be a widely accessible public option." And: "If we can't do it because we don't get 60 votes, then there are other ways that we have to proceed. And I would strongly support those other ways."
ROLAND BURRIS: "I will not vote for any reform legislation that fails to include a strong public option. I believe we cannot get meaningful reform without the real competition, lower costs, and accountability that a public option can provide."
RUSS FEINGOLD: "I do not support proposals that would replace the public option in the bill with a purely private approach. We need to have some competition for the insurance industry to keep rates down and save taxpayer dollars."
SHERROD BROWN: "There's no negotiations as far as I'm concerned. We've compromised the public option three times, maybe four, depending on how you define it. This bill is not going to continue to become more pro-insurance company."
BOLD FLASHBACK: "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange...including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest." -- Barack Obama