Public option goes down in Senate committee — twice

The Senate Finance Committee voted this afternoon to defeat Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s proposal to add a public option to Chairman Max Baucus’ bill…then voted against a public option a second time, on an amendment offered by Sen. Chuck Schumer. More coverage here and here.

No, this isn’t nearly the end of the debate over a public option for health insurance. No, a vote in committee doesn’t always guarantee a vote when the whole body takes up a bill and a public option amendment is put forward again. But this afternoon’s votes do suggest that the Senate’s red-state Democrats (I believe “Blue Dog Democrats” applies only to members of the House) are willing to cast a public vote, rather than just speaking out, against a provision that their more liberal colleagues have insisted upon.

The fat lady hasn’t even started driving to the theater.

30 comments Add your comment

Leslie Pounds

September 29th, 2009
5:39 pm

EnteRecently Toyota chose Canada over the U. S. to locate a new assembly plant. Why? Quite simply Canada’s healthcare system relieves Toyota of the costs of providing health care to its employees. Mandating that employers provide health care is a major burden for small businesses. A public option could lift this burden. Congress and the Executive Branch can more easily regulate a government-run system than numerous insurance companies.

Many illegal immigrants work in restaurants. Absent primary care and vaccinations they could become a pool of infecting patrons with H1N1 and other infectious diseases. The forty or so million without health insurance could also become a pool for infecting the populace and increasing the chance of pandemic. A sensible public system could remedy this.
r your comments here. Les Pounds


September 29th, 2009
6:38 pm

I disagree. I think a “government option” has been dead since day one.
Deservedly so.

Congress will end up doing nothing to control sky rocketing costs of health care. So in a couple of years when the baby boomers start going on medicare we will address the issue again. As I keep reminding. Medicare is $803.1 Billion in FY 2010 & will triple by 2021 unless something in cost control is done.


September 29th, 2009
11:33 pm

No public public funding…

Shaneneeee Faneneeeeeee

September 30th, 2009
12:05 am

” To achieve healthcare reform I am going to have the debates around a big table. These debates will be televised on C-Span so that the people can see who is making the arguments on behalf of their constituents and who are making the arguments on behalf of the doctors and the insurance companies. This way, the people will be able to stay involved in this process.” – Barack Obama. ??????????????


September 30th, 2009
7:33 am

How much money did our Senators and Congressional Representatives receive in campaign donations from the insurance and drug lobby?

Therein is the answer to WHY there will be no Public Option for the American people.


September 30th, 2009
7:49 am

Kyle, It seems to me that there is something more important to senators than making Obama happy…REELECTION. There is going to be a heavy price to pay for ANY Senator who votes in favor of a so-called “public option”. The first wave of recriminations against them will come in 2010 for those who live outside of New England, New York and California.

The second wave will come when the costs associated with all of these bills begin “trickling down” to the people in the form of higher taxes that will be necessary to pay for this boondoggle. This wave will occur in 2012 and will sweep the “I won’t raise taxes on the middle class” President out of office. (See George Bush the Elder, also, “Read my lips.”)

Michael Hamrick

September 30th, 2009
8:02 am


If you are concerned about the millions of Illegals working in our food service industry becoming a breeding ground for epidemics, isn’t the simplest answer to simply enforce US law and start deporting them instead of paying for their healthcare? As to the estimated 25 million Americans (please remember your number of 40 million includes all illegals), many do not want to buy healthcare. Others make enough money that they can pay out of pocket. We do need reform in tort law, keeping company’s from dropping the coverage from those who become ill, and denying coverage to those not in perfect health. The public option though is a mistake. Consider the competition the Government can make. A public option can and eventually will run into the red to an extent that no private company could without going bankrupt. That is not competition, it’s the systematic elimination of private insurance.


September 30th, 2009
8:04 am

Can you show me where in the United States Constitution does it say that a government run, taxpayer supported health program is allowed?

I didn’t think so. Please join me in the growing movement to abolish the government run, taxpayer supported Medicare program. Make no mistake about it, this will be an uphill battle. I have contacted all 15 members of the Georgia Congressional delegation and so far, five have responded (4 republicans and 1 democrat). All appear to be in favor of this unconstitutional socialist mandate.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

September 30th, 2009
8:40 am

Holman Jenkins has a funny article in today’s WSJ, “Why Obama Bombed on Healthcare,” More intelligence in that article than in most other sources combined.


September 30th, 2009
8:44 am

Just say no to another govt ran program. Period.

Inept, inefficient, corrupt, wasteful, and the list goes on. That describes all govt run programs. Don’t need another.

Are there reforms, cost controls, records processes, expanded coverage that can be had? Of course. But we don’t need US companies having to compete with subsidized, tax free, non profitable entities.


September 30th, 2009
8:59 am

I think the public option is in part a red herring, designed to make us look away from how bad the rest of the bill is going to be for America. Sure, the crazy far left would love to have the public option, but a lot of the Democrats in power are happy to keep the debate focused on that one bad idea so they can pass a lot more bad ideas without much scrutiny.

As for Medicare, I don’t think we can completely eliminate it, but I think the age at which people start receiving Medicare AND Social Security needs to be much older. It was intended to protect very old people who are no longer able to work. As we all know, people are living longer and the definition of “very old” has changed. It’s a good thing to protect the interests of those who are truly elderly and frail, but it’s ridiculous to have healthy adults living on public support for decades.

Left wing management

September 30th, 2009
9:16 am

“The fat lady hasn’t even started driving to the theater.”

And with any luck, maybe we can just drown the fat lady in her bathtub while she’s getting ready and be done with it.


September 30th, 2009
9:19 am

The cowardly dems will lose if they DON’T come through with meaningful reform. What a pickle. Time to man up and do the moral thing, not the politically expedient thing. To hell with the insurance cos and there immoral and obscene profits.


September 30th, 2009
9:21 am

Sure the public option is legal, we’ve had Medicare for 40 years with very few problems; administrative costs are way less than private companies and a profit doesn’t have to add to every bill.

Why not have a choice, if we have the best system in the world (which we don’t) what are monopoly insurance worried about?

Why not give everyone the chance to buy into Medicare? If the insurance companies have a better product the Medicare option won’t sale.

Free Market System – Capitalism – Freedom – remember?


September 30th, 2009
9:22 am

The public option is alive and well in the House, and whether or not it survives all these preliminaries, at the last minute, and 5 minutes prior to the last Senate vote, Obama will make sure it is in there. So, don’t let down your vigilance–keep the calls going. I trust my government as far as I can throw it. I don’t want them involved in my healthcare. Everything they have done so far has been detrimental to free competition of insurers across state borders, and they are not about to consider tort reform, and if they could run anything efficiently, why can’t they clean up the Medicare fraud right now, rather than admitting it exists, and allowing it to continue?

Left wing management

September 30th, 2009
9:33 am

Joan, oh Joan dear, do you realize what you’re saying when you say things like “, don’t let down your vigilance–keep the calls going. I trust my government as far as I can throw it. I don’t want them involved in my healthcare.”

You’re parroting Conservative talking points here and in the next breath claim you don’t want them ‘involved in my healthcare’ yet blame them for not cleaning up corruption. As I’m sure you’re aware, there would be no Medicare to be corrupt were it not for the government, so you’re complaint is utterly incoherent.


September 30th, 2009
9:38 am

I whole heartedly support the Public Option. We spend considerably more on Health Care than any other country and we are the only Industrialized Country in the World without Universal Coverage.

I understand that change is scary, but the status quo in this case is scarier.


September 30th, 2009
9:52 am

Why do we need government healthcare? Is it because we have no JOBS?


September 30th, 2009
9:56 am

let me see what we have put on the taxpayer…food stamps, medicare, medicaid, gov housing, gov child care, gov send me a check, and … I am sure there are som many others but I get frustrated and cannot think of them now so you can help me out by listing some on your posts.

David Axelfraud

September 30th, 2009
10:08 am

Kyle, apparently MLK was a prophet and Obama is now God. According to these crazy buffoons anyway.

Proud American

September 30th, 2009
10:21 am

The induction of a Government run public option will ultimately kill any other option limiting our freedoms.
Do we need health care reform?
Yes, but lets do it responsively, lets look at what drves the doctor and medical cost, a major contributor is law suit, there are untold number of lawyer’smaking untold amounts of money from frivolouslaw suits, well guess what who pays for these suits and and astronomical awards NOT THE DOCTORS THE HOSPITALS OR THE INSURANCE COMPANYS, we do people, by all the above inflating and passing these cost on to us so these all so quick to sue people ,there lawyers and there croonies get rich. YOU tell me wheres the justice is in that. You say doctors and hospitals should be held accountable and I agree,but lets be realistic. Let’s say a doctor inadvertantly performed a proceedure which led to your finger falling off, let’s ask how much is that finger worth. Did the doctor purposely cause your finger to fall off, I think not. So how much? If you loose a part of your body at your work place you are awarded a nominal amount, but if you loose that same body part at the hands of someone trying to render you aide and confort you sue for more than a millions times that amount.
Let’s say a doctor nets five million a year and is sued for six hundred million, it would take him 120 years to pay the suit, not going to happen, so who gets penalized ? Thats right you and I get penalized through inflated prices.
I think you are starting to get it !


September 30th, 2009
10:34 am

Fraud: you’re the buffoon if you buy into that BS- get a life

Chris Broe

September 30th, 2009
10:43 am

I have to apologize for the “Die Quickly” remark from the right honorable reprentative from the great state of Florida, Democrat Alan Grayson. “Die Quickly” is a total mischaracterization of the actual Republican Healthcare plan.

The GOP plan is better characterized as “Eat Sheeyit and Die”, because the Repudlickans are also responsible for the last two generations of American Children of the Corn Syrup, which is all they ingest, thanx to Archer Daniels Midland and Bob Dole, (all repudlickans).

So, because all americans, born after Bob Dole and ADM started poisoning us all, have been ingesting corn syrup, (which is worse than smoking), the Republicans can be proud of their healthcare plan, which can never be characterized as merely, “Die Quickly”.

CNN just reported the world’s first drive-by texting. A gang member in Los Angeles drove past a rival gang’s clubhouse, took out his phone, and began texting to his ho. The car went out of control and crashed into the rival clubhouse, killing and maiming everyone inside. The driver ran way laughing, but was soon arrested by police using cell phone towers, triangulation, and the fact that he always be chillin’ at his ho’s crib.

David Axelfraud

September 30th, 2009
10:48 am

gandhi, buy into what? I’m not the moron praying to Obama and MLK.

gandhi, go choke on some rice.

David Axelfraud

September 30th, 2009
10:49 am

gandhi, um, aren’t you supposed to be peaceful etc…..?


September 30th, 2009
10:50 am

mmmm, rice! Any thing but the briar patch brer’ fraud


September 30th, 2009
10:52 am

fraud, aren’t you supposed to be a patriotic american blindly supporting your president like you did the last 8 yrs?

David Axelfraud

September 30th, 2009
11:20 am

gandhi, support is one thing. Praying to a president, who is human by the way, is another.

How do you know that I blindly supported Bush for 8 years?


September 30th, 2009
11:29 am

Proud South American – Malpractice suit settlements make up less than 3% of medical costs. So how is that causing annual double-digit medical inflation again?
Facts are pesky little thinks aren’t they? Getting in the way of your bald-faced lies and all.

Proud American

September 30th, 2009
12:42 pm

Caveman, crawl back into your little hole and wait for Obama to come bail you out.
I don’t care if it’s only 1%, I don’t want to pay for someone else’s future, health care,on and on and on. You and your CNN and MSNBC goons can bow down to Obama ,but don’t try to bring the rest of us down with you.