A full 60 Democrats have now pledged to vote for healthcare reform only if it contains a public option.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusSebelius on GOP healthcare plan: 'I'm not sure what the goal is here' Obama's health secretary to be first female president of American University Leaked email: Podesta pushed Tom Steyer for Obama’s Cabinet MORE (obtained by Firedoglake), the Congressional Progressive Caucus took issue with Sebelius's recent statement that a public plan was "not the essential element" of healthcare reform, and pledged 60 votes against final passage unless a public plan is included:
To take the public option off the table would be a grave error; passage in the House of Representatives depends upon inclusion of it.

We have attached, for your review, a letter from 60 Members of Congress who are firm in their position that any legislation that moves forward through both chambers, and into a final proposal for the President's signature, MUST contain a public option.

A previous, similar pledge by the progressive caucus included 50 members, so support for the public plan seems to be growing among House liberals.

Centrists have speculated that House liberals may demand a vote on the public option when a bill first goes through the House, but would eventually accept a conference committee compromise that lacked a goverment plan. This letter seems to suggest that's not the case.