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Public Option is DOA in Senate

The Senate Finance Committee has rejected two Democratic efforts to create a public health insurance option. The first was offered by Sen. Jay Rockefeller and was voted down by all the Republican committee members and 5 conservative Democrats – Sens. Conrad, Lincoln, Nelson, Carper and Baucus. The second effort, a less liberal plan sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer, picked up two of the conservative Dem votes (Nelson and Carper) but was still defeated.

The Times summarizes the meaning of the votes.

The question now is whether the support shown today by at least some Democrats for the public option will be enough to convince Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, to include it when he reconciles the Finance Committee bill with one from the more liberal health committee — which does include a public option.

That will be the big debate going on behind the scenes while the Finance Committee barrels through hundreds of additional amendments with the goal of wrapping up its bill by the end of the week.”

It’s worth checking out the coverage of the committee’s debates to see some of the rhetoric Republicans are bustin’ out in their opposition to something this country desperately needs. How many insured people need to file for bankruptcy because their medical bills are too high? How many years will insurance premiums have to rise faster than wages before our government will help us out? How many years will we have to pay higher premiums while benefits and payments to doctors are reduced? At the rate the Senate is going, we might have to find out.

8 Comments


  1. AdamL

    September 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Schumer’s public option amendment was at least close — it failed 13-10.

  2. AC

    September 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Senator Rockefeller, asked: “Who comes first, the insurance companies or the American people?”

    I guess we have our answer. The health care denial corporations get to keep screwing the American people – because we do not have a legitimate government. What we have can only be described as a corporate kleptocracy, in lieu of a government.

    I’m completely disgusted, but not surprised.

  3. Rob Schofield

    September 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    We’re running a marathon and still in the early miles.

  4. Lou Meyers

    September 29, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Baucus said he voted against the public option because he thought it wouldn’t make it into the final bill. Sounds confused. He needs to step down as senator and immediately head to the track. Oh I forgot, he takes more money from the insurance industry than he would ever make betting on horses.

    At least he telegraphed his future vote. He didn’t have to—–the bill would have failed anyway. He just clued us in that the public option has no chance.

    We’ve been strung along long enough. Let’s ban together and push for state single payer!

  5. Lou Meyers

    September 29, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Clarification: I meant the amendments adding the public option would have failed even if Baucus had voted for them. He still says he prefers a bill with the public option but just doesn’t think it can make it to the president and that’s why he voted against the amendments. This guy is suppose to be “leading” the committee.
    What a joke!

  6. IBXer

    September 30, 2009 at 11:19 am

    It was dead over a month ago. I’ve been saying that for weeks…

  7. Jake

    September 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    It’s never over till it’s over. The question is: “What is it about the American free market system that insurance companies are afraid of that would make them spend so much time, effort and money to defeat an insurance option for the American people?

  8. Aaron Dunn

    September 30, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    My concern with this health care reform, as an Independent, is that it’s all over the place, there are not enough specifics and it must be put into writing and as if “written in stone” so that not every illegal that comes to the US will get free healthcare and those that work hard all their citizen life in US pay for every “Tom, Dick and Harry”

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