I'll believe it when I see it, but as of right now, Bernie Sanders is apparently not going to support the Senate "Health Execs Will Need To Build Bigger Parking Lots For All Their New Stretch Limos" Act of 2009 :
It'll be difficult to whip Sanders, as he's an independent from a very progressive state. But I'm sure Rahm et al will try. It's not going to look good, though, when America sees them whip one recalcitrant Independent but let the other get everything he asks for.
That reminds me of something else about this nonsense that bothers me. There is a Bill with a public option out there. It passed in the House, remember? 50.5% and all that? Yet it's being completely ignored in favor of the Senate's POS legislation.
Never mind all the crap about cloture and whatnot. Think about what this says about you. By only paying attention to the Senate and ignoring or subduing the House, as the White House has been doing since they first got the keys to the place, they are saying "we don't give a rat's ass about the representatives of the people. We only care about the representatives of the state".
"But Senators are elected!" you cry. Yes, they are. But they aren't really democratic: the number of Senators has nothing to do with Americans per se, just the fifty states that make up the union. That's what they represent. There's a reason they weren't even elected by the public back during the early years of the Republic; the Senate was never intended to represent the wishes of the people.
And how could it? A few Senators from a few low-population states can dictate things to the rest of the the country. As more and more people move to fewer and fewer states, that's only going to get worse, and it was never great to begin with. That's fine if all you care about is having each State have its representation. But it doesn't help most Americans much.
No, your representative is your Representative. That's what the House of Representatives is for, just like the House of Commons in a parliamentary system. It ensures that each and every American has an equal voice in at least one body of their government. It's the foundation of American democracy, in fact; if the Revolution were just about protecting the interests of nobility, then America could have just reconfirmed the Magna Carta and been done with it. They fought a revolution for Rep by Pop.
(That's also why bodies like the Canadian Senate and the British House of Lords aren't elected at all: because like the American Senate, that's not what they're for.)
So, when the media and the White House ignore the House, what's really going on is that they're saying "representation by population is a completely crock." It's almost a Confederate view of America, since it privileges the interests of states as unique bodies, instead of the interests of Americans AS Americans. And as individuals. It's "state's rights" by another name.
The House has their bill. Their bill has a public option, and is (bluntly) a far more tolerable bill than its Senatorial counterpart. Giving it up to get Senatorial votes might have been acceptable if Obama et al had shown the House that they respect the body, its members, and its consensuses; but since no respect has ever been shown, House progressives should (politely) tell them to go piss up a rope.
Sure, Sanders is important. I hope he sticks to it. But as Americans, you cannot forget that the Senate does not truly represent you, and never will.
Edit: Just to make it clear what the American PEOPLE want: A Washington Post/ABC poll asked people what they thought about extending Medicare to people 55+. By a THIRTY-point lead, they agreed with with it.
America has said what it wants. Its representatives have acknowledged that. But the Senate, and the White House, doesn't appear to care.