Barack Obama | Health | News

Senate Finance Committee Rejects Health Care Public Option

Twice, efforts by Democrats to add a public option to health care legislation were defeated by the Senate Finance Committee today. Five Democrats joined all Republicans in the defeat of the first proposal, and three Dems joined the GOP to defeat the second one:


"The committee on Tuesday afternoon voted, 15 to 8, to reject an amendment proposed by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Democrat of West Virginia, to add a public option called the Community Choice Health Plan, an outcome that underscored the lack of support for a government plan among many Democrats. Mr. Baucus voted no, as did Senators Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, and Bill Nelson of Florida, joining all 10 Republicans in opposition. A second amendment by Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, to create a different version of a public plan was also defeated, though by a closer margin, 13 to 10, with the added support of Mr. Carper and Mr. Nelson. Mr. Schumer who voted in favor of both proposals, said supporters of the public option would keep on fighting."

CNN's Rick Sanchez interviews Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) about the vote, and Howard Dean discusses the "enormous backlash" the Democrats will face if the public option ultimately fails, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I flipped out about this, but found this very reassuring:

    I just don't believe it will end up with no public option, and won't accept that until that is the final, final outcome.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Sep 29, 2009 6:16:21 PM

  2. What happens if Congress passes and Obama signs a bill with a mandate that requires people to buy health insurance, and then doesn't offer an affordable public option for people to buy?

    The Democrats lose Congress.

    Posted by: Joel | Sep 29, 2009 6:20:00 PM

  3. Who ever runs against Senator Baucus next election is getting my money. He is an insurance lobbyist wet dream. This bill is worse than anything the Republicans have put together and they are laughing mightily as the Democrats are going to be chased with pickforks out of office because of it. Isn't this country beholden to insurance companies as is? Disgusting. If you don't offer me a public option, don't try telling me I have to buy insurance from one of these profit-whoring companies.

    Posted by: Bart | Sep 29, 2009 6:21:12 PM

  4. That's it. We need another party. The democrats are spineless panderers who are probably just as much in the pockets of the insurance industry as Republicans. Change we can believe in? My, we have mighty small hopes don't we? Utterly pathetic.

    Posted by: dramaticartchild | Sep 29, 2009 6:52:21 PM

  5. I am as annoyed by these GD Democrats as I am with the GOP - they are all worthless.

    Vote them all out.

    Posted by: chris | Sep 29, 2009 7:17:15 PM

  6. Joel YEPP

    The public option IS the compromise on single payer

    America is the ONLY 1st world nation not to have single payer health care. While even many 2nd world countries have single payer health systems which outrank US health care per the world health organization

    France with its 100% socialized medicine has ranked #1 for the past 10 years straight while america ranks 37th

    sadly it appears Nader was right all along. The repubs and dems are 1 single party just 2 wings of the single corporate party and screw the citizens

    screw both partys and I renounce Obama if he signs mandates without a robust public option (no trigger! and no co-opc)

    DRAFT Bernie Sanders 2012 socialist and challenge the corporate loving Obama and dems from the left

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Sep 29, 2009 8:07:25 PM

  7. The Greens are looking better and better in 2010. I'm so sick of being treated abusively by corrupt Phonycrats.

    Posted by: libhomo | Sep 29, 2009 9:33:06 PM

  8. So now the Democrats need a majority that is bigger than the majority they have... holy crap. Nothing like stealing defeat from the jaws of victory.


    Posted by: Rad | Sep 29, 2009 9:35:35 PM

  9. Just fucking awful. Get me out of this country, madness reigns and I probably will die because of our fucked up priorities.

    Posted by: Nelly | Sep 29, 2009 9:38:26 PM

  10. As a true blue Dem, I must say, it's time to get rid of some DINO's and put a Democrat where a Democrat oughta be!

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Sep 29, 2009 9:50:20 PM

  11. Realize that Baucus is just sticking to the deal made between the Insurance Industry, Big Pharma and the White House. This is the bill that resulted because Obama wanted it.

    If there is a mandate with no public option then I will be calling my senators and representatives to say VOTE AGAINST THE BILL. It is nothing but a giveaway to the insurance industry. It is not real reform!

    Posted by: NYSmike | Sep 29, 2009 9:54:33 PM

  12. Even Bill O'Reilly supports a public option. If the Dems can't get their act together on this, I think we need to just get rid of them all & vote 3rd party.

    Posted by: Michael | Sep 29, 2009 10:01:01 PM

  13. The Democrats on the Finance Committee who voted against the Rockfeller public option are from Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Florida and Delaware. The other public option amendment was rejected by those same Democrats from Montana, North Dakota, and Nebraska

    In other words, you cannot indict the entire Democratic party based on these individuals. What kind of liberal firebrand do you expect out of Democrats from Montana, North Dakota and Nebraska? I mean it sucks that every state gets two senators, but that's how it is.

    John Kerry, Chuck Schumer, Jay Rockefeller -- they all voted for the public option amendments, but hey, "throw all the bums out" right? WTF. Baucus/Nelson/Conrad should have to face primary battles from more liberal candidates, but lets face it -- a liberal would probably lose in those red states. And a shitty Democrat is better than any Republican (because having such a majority allows for much better members of the party to head committees and be more powerful).

    Posted by: Scott | Sep 30, 2009 12:57:31 AM

  14. What about when the gov'ment made Auto Insurance mandatory....and yet there are no controls on that. They charge whatever they want, and WE must pay for the 'uninsured' motorists!
    Yeah....great job, there, gov'ment! Go ahead and 'fix' the health insurance problem!
    We are doomed


    Posted by: Bruce Wayne | Sep 30, 2009 1:29:22 AM

  15. bruce

    There is no comparison between auto insurance and health insurance

    1- only 10% of humanity owns a car and all of them can be traded in

    2- use of public transportation sans a car = no need and no mandate to buy it

    3- 100% of humanity have bodies, none of which can be traded in

    apples and oranges


    Yes one can generalize about the entire dem party

    1- WH actions as vs speaches = they prefer trigger, co-opts, no PO, and yes on mandates ( a broken election promise)

    2- almost the entirety of the dem party did not allow single payer to even be discussed which is true health reform and is part of the freaking party platform. Instead almost in their entirety they went for the compromise position of PO

    PO is the compromise on single payer


    Also if you think schummer and rockefeller was anything but kabuki theater for dems to say "see we tried, now take the mandate in the ass and no PO" then you are naive

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Sep 30, 2009 10:09:40 AM

  16. 3 Democratic Senators from RED states maybe able to hold-up and/or stall legitimate reform, Jimmyboyo, but they certainly do not represent the mindsets and mentalities of the other Democratic legislators that have from the beginning till now argued for a public option. What must happen now is that liberals like us must add more pressure on the senate as a whole to do what is right, put the public option in. Without that pressure, it is too easy for the senate as a whole to lose what zeal they have left and back out from legitimate reform.

    You are right, though, the Dems started out with too much of a compromise, liberals, both citizen and politician alike, across the board have pointed this out, (including Rick Sanchez and Congressman Wiener in that clip above.) History will remember that compromise. Looking back though, with the crazy backlash from the right and their footsoldiers and tea-partiers all across the country making a big hurrah about government take-over of healthcare, it's easy to see why the Dems, who are afraid of losing their newly held position as the party in control of the country, would seek a compromise before the fight even began. It wasn't THE BEST thing for the country, but, should it pass, it would move the ball forward big time.

    Posted by: Chaddy | Sep 30, 2009 11:10:06 AM

  17. ho needs the republicons to mess up health care reform when we have Democrats who will do the GOP's dirty work for them? The Democrats should hang it up. Baucus' bill is a DISASTER, an utter f*cking disaster! What the Dems need is LEADERSHIP, which it does NOT have with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid running the shows in both Houses of Congress. Might as well kiss health-care reform goodbye.

    Posted by: mike | Sep 30, 2009 1:10:49 PM

  18. Sorry, folks. The sentence should start, "Who needs the republicons....etc." I guess my anger got the best of me.

    Posted by: mike | Sep 30, 2009 1:12:28 PM

  19. What has happened to obamas health care bill? The one he has never read or had anything to do with its writing,yet has wasted millions on pushing.

    Posted by: Eminem Toy Soldiers | Sep 30, 2009 3:47:52 PM

  20. A life long Democrat, I'm Finally going to go Green and join the Nader-ites if our Senators won't stop being the lapdog to Insurance companies and, instead, just do their damn job!! Let me re-iterate to our representatives in Congress in the off-chance that they may be listening: YOUR JOB IS TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE - not the special interests.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Sep 30, 2009 5:59:33 PM

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