July 29th, 2009
01:28 PM ET
5 years ago

Top Dem aide: 'Significant policy issues' could still derail deal

 Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is spearheading bipartisan health care reform negotiations in the Senate.
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is spearheading bipartisan health care reform negotiations in the Senate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has obtained an e-mail from a top aide of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus – a message that aims to debunk a Washington Post headline that negotiators are close to a deal.

The authenticity of the e-mail, sent to top aides to senators on the Finance Committee and obtained by CNN from a GOP source, was confirmed by a Baucus aide.

"While progress has been made in recent days, neither an accord nor an announcement is imminent," wrote Russ Sullivan, Democratic staff director for the committee. "In fact, significant policy issues remain to be discussed among the Members, and any one of these issues could preclude bipartisan agreement."

While several senators have been more upbeat about the negotiators' progress over the last 24 hours, there is also concern about managing expectations, and about backlash from senators left out of negotiations who have not been briefed on all the details of the talks.

Still, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley told National Public Radio Wednesday morning they are "on the edge" of a deal this week.

(Read the full text of the e-mail after the jump)

Full text of the e-mail:

From: Sullivan, Russ (Finance-Dem)
To: XXXX
Sent: Wed Jul 29 08:19:05 2009
Subject: Clarification To Post Story

Today's Post article (A1- " Senators Close to Health Accord") makes it appear that a bipartisan deal is imminent. While progress has been made in recent days, neither an accord nor an announcement is imminent. In fact, significant policy issues remain to be discussed among the Members, and any one of these issues could preclude bipartisan agreement. Members will continue their methodical work. If you have questions, please call and we will give you more information. We do not want your boss to have a misimpression based on an inaccurate headline.


Filed under: Health care • Senate
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Michigan mom

    I'll believe it when they sign it. The Republicans are too busy scaring seniors with "this is government sponsored death" ! "The Obama administration wants to kill seniors." Honestly. Could they be any more anti-American? Are they that terrified of a black President that they resort to Nazi tactics?

    July 29, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I don't see how this is a bipartisan deal when the republicans haven't added 2 cents to the debate. All they've been doing is putting up irrelevant ads trying to scare people. Just get something passed this year.

    July 29, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. Randolph Carter

    Translation: We haven't gotten approval from our corporate masters in the healthcare and insurance industries yet. Have a nice day!

    July 29, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Candy West Virginia

    Please people, don't let rethuglicans block health coverage reform, we all know they could care less whether you or I have coverage or not, after all what did they do the last 8 years regarding health care reform, nothing, zero, de nada.

    July 29, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. RealityKing

    When we see the disappointmet in our progressively liberal president's face.., we'll have a good bi-partisan deal.

    July 29, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Sam Sixpack

    If we don't hurry up and pass this thing, the lies, lies, lies, lies, lies could all unravel.

    Who doesn't want to pay all they can "afford" (to be decided by Nancy and Joe) to fat, greedy, rich people (a.k.a. big insurance companies), be taxed on the forced contribution and then have their coverage dropped if and when they actually need it?

    Those Republicans are ruining everything - again.

    July 29, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Debbie

    Dear Senators: Keep in mind the American people want REAL Healthcare Reform. The President has the support of the people behind him. The minority in the Senate should not wield the power on this issue. You are going against the will of the people if you don't give them real health care reform. Democrats have everything they need to make this happen. This is a defining moment in our history. You will probably never get this opportunity again. If you blow it, Senator Baucus, there is no point in a Democratic majority. And there will never be one again! Do you understand this??

    July 29, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Melissa

    Thats because the gvt officials that have been bought by the corporations want the corporations to win. So sick of the corruption.

    July 29, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Hope

    No Public Health Option, No Deal see you in 2010 and 2012, we will remove everyone who does not vote for a public plan.

    July 29, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Clay

    Apparently the wealthy in this country and their bought-and-paid-for politicians have decided that preserving their blood-money profits is more important than health care for the average citizen. They don't fight in any wars, pay little or nothing in taxes, yet stand on their pedestals complaining about how our, not their tax money is to be spent. They gave trillions to all of their greedy friends who ran their businesses into the ground, yet turn their backs on those in need. What a despicable group of people. I seriously doubt that there’s a genuine human being among them.

    July 29, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. dominican mama 4 Obama

    There could be no dirtier word in the English language than: politicians. The whole lot of them are pissing me off royally. Can you guys get anything done on behalf of the people who elected you to YOUR phenomenal health care plan?

    July 29, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Gordon

    If there's no public option, IT'S NOT REFORM!! The Republicans (and a few Dems) have a lot of nerve saying, out of one side of their mouths, that the government can't run any entity efficiently and then, out of the other side, that a public option will run private insurance out of business. You can't have it both ways.

    And if it were true that the public option would ruin the health care insurance industry, who cares? They've done a lousy job of "insuring" coverage for their policyholders, and they have no "right" to be in business if they can't compete.

    July 29, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Dean

    More of the same from our goverment. Time to clean house and find some people who can get the job done.

    July 29, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Aunt Bea and Opie

    They better get this done or their photos will be on milk cartons.

    July 29, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Jay T.

    Insurance companies are spending 1.3 miilion dollars a day to derail this. That is called corporate influence. You tell me from where the loss of freedom is coming?

    July 29, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. RI Moderate

    Rush, rush, rush. And make sure no details on what exactly the health care bill says leak out to anyone who might care. Let's jam it down their throats because if allowed to actually discuss this openly, it probably won't happen.

    What happened to our democracy????

    July 29, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus: Your CHAIR in the Senate hangs in the balance in 2010! So do or DIE for Healthcare this year!!

    Obama – Biden 2012

    July 29, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. john

    of course cnn concentrate on the negative

    July 29, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. NOTHING WORKS IN WASHINGTON

    Basically they negotiated it down the what we have now. The insurance companies can rape us silly. Thanks Washington, Greed is great!!!

    July 29, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. paul coke

    Pushing aside the special interest (insurance companies, fee for service advocates) how difficult is to get real about health care reform.
    Most small business do provide health care benefit to workers let alone a living wage. What is at play here is politics. The Republican party never supported anything for the common person, they screwed up medicare, had 8 years to do something about health care and did nothing, well, they did give us part D medicare that is costing seniors more money and limited services. Corporate American should see health care as an oppotunity to cost shift health care to public plans, and increase their profits. The Republicans can actually prove they care about the general publics welfare rather than their corporate buddies and opportunity to hose the President.
    The blue dogs should realize that a conservative democrat is basically a republican in a suit. Get real dawgs and support your President.

    July 29, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. Kim

    Blue dogs are in bed with health insurance companies.

    July 29, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. mypitts2

    I've come around to the view they should hold off until after the break. What's being discussed in the Senate now is a monstrosity, a give-away to the insurance interests. We need to get these Dems back home for seasoning and some reminders of why the country elected Democrats and not Republicans, who ignored this issue the entire time they were in power.

    July 29, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. phoenix86

    Obama's deathcare plan needs to be shelved. If not, those who vote for it need to be ejected in the next election.

    July 29, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Quinn - Houston, Texas

    I wish the Democrats would grow a spine. With the majority they need in both the House and the Senate, if they don't get it done now it will NEVER get done. As much as I hate the GOP, these "blue dog" bozos are just as bad. Ted Kennedy may not live to see his dream come true because of a few rogue Democrats that work for the insurance companies. What a shame.

    July 29, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. smokey

    Dear Pres Obama..While i truly applaud your efforts in trying to bring about HealthCare Change, I do believe its time to throw in the towel ! It is so obvious that there are those who are never going to change, and are not willing to even comromise for the good of the people..Please do not give in to the GOP, and let them tear apart the very fabric of your HEALTHCARE Reform which is Public Option..I think this would be the biggest mistake and will only led to more of them getting what they truly want, which is for your agenda to fail..Pres Obama thanks for trying to do the right thing, but I think the majority of Americans would rather do what is right for the country instead of what is good for a few GOP complainers !!!

    July 29, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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