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Public Option Support Used as Fundraising Tool

Liberal bloggers say they have helped raise more than $160,000 in the past 24 hours for about 60 progressive House Democrats who have pledged to vote against any health care plan that does not include a public insurance option.The move comes after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Sunday that a public option is “not the essential element— of the administration’s health care overhaul.“Twenty-four hours ago we put up a page in response to the Sebelius comments that the public plan was something the White House could live without,— said blogger Jane Hamsher, the founder of page, which is part of ActBlue, an online clearinghouse for Democratic donors, allows potential contributors to give money to the 60 House Members who signed a letter to Sebelius earlier this week in which they promised to vote against a health care plan without a robust public option.As of Wednesday night, donors had contributed about $160,000 to those House Members, who range from Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) to John Yarmuth (Ky.), as well as the Blue America political action committee.The page is being promoted on the Web sites of several liberal blogs, including Hamsher’s. “That is a big number,— Hamsher said of the amount raised since Tuesday. “It means that a lot of people across the blogosphere really, really want a public plan, and they’re the people who turned out for Obama.— According to the Web site, the ActBlue page had raised as much as $4,300 for Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett and $1,273 for Rep. Albio Sires (N.J.).

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