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Public Options in the Finance Committee

Two Public Options were up for vote as amendments to the Senate Finance Committee's version of the Health Care reform bill today (All of the other Committees - 1 in the Senate and 3 in the House - have a public option).

Senator Rockefeller had a version of the Public Option that was tied to the (new and improved) Medicare rates.

Senator Schumer had a version that forced the government to negotiate rates.

Each failed. In a committee with 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans, Rockefeller's amendment failed 15-8 (five dems against). Schumer's failed 13-10 (three dems agains).

In each case, the committee chair, Senator Baucus, a Democrat, voted against his Democratic colleague's amendments. The other consistent nays were Senator Conrad and Senator Lincoln. Baucus and Conrad both voted against it using the twisted logic that there weren't enough votes for the Public Option on the floor. (Lincoln didn't even bother to show up for the second vote; she voted by proxy.)

The next logical step for these two is to vote against the final bill using the reasoning that they don't think it has the votes.

By fnord12 | September 29, 2009, 4:46 PM | Liberal Outrage


For my two cents, if there's no public option then there should be no mandate to buy insurance. You can still regulate the insurance companies, but without a way to reduce the cost of insurance people should not be forced to buy it. Otherwise you put people into a position where they are forced to buy something they already could not afford.

Agree. Mandates without a public option is a gift to insurance companies, a major burden on a lot of people, and a sure loser for the Dems politically.