July 29th, 2009
01:28 PM ET
9 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)
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. 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 |
  2. jaye

    The democrats are scared of the republicans and the media – they're spineless jellyfish....and the republicans do not want the democrats to get any type of healthcare because it would make the democrats look good.
    So, Americans will go without healthcare and the republicans and the media will rejoice at their victory....and this will get chalked up to "politics as usual – and the democrats will not get re-elected.
    I don't really care – I'm wealthy and have healthcare....so why should I care about those who don't.

    July 29, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Tatianna

    We The People have the right and want to know whats in the bill. Every line and every page. And why are some senators left out of negotiations? And will all our representatives have time to read entire bill before it comes to the floor for a vote? How many devils in these details

    July 29, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Gary

    This whole healthcare reform discussion is ridiculous...

    1. There is NO cost savings without malpractice reform.
    2. There are NOT enough doctors and nurses to care for 45 million more people – – we have to train more or bring in more foreign docs/nurses.
    3. There is NO major quality improvements without major infrastructure (especially computer) improvements....and that cost MONEY.

    This whole debate is the Democrats attempt to institute more government insurance programs to put us on a path towards socialization of medicine, healthcare rationing and a reduction in the overall quality of our medical system in an attempt to cover everyone. This is scary and I hope it fails.

    July 29, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. way to go

    shoot yourselves in the foot, nice job dems

    I had faith in you, you are letting me down

    July 29, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Marcon

    You have got to be kidding me. Lets all sell out to "national health care" so everyone with private insurance can supplement another 40 million people. Ok fine, tell you what: How about everyone with private insurance drop it so we get to pay price capped rates for our care too?

    July 29, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Definition of bi-partisan for the benefit of the right-wing swifties. It means we work as a group to reach a solid concensus on a good health care plan.

    Right-Wing definition of bi-partisan means don't cooperate under any circumstances with Obama and blame him for no plan getting accomplished. Above all costs, be sure you protect the doctors, pharmaceutical companies, insurance interests and medical centers.

    July 29, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. Emma

    I am sick and tired of everyone playing politics. You BLUE DOG Democrats if we loose our opportunity to get universal health insurance because you feel empowered now...........remember we old people vote and you could be looking at NOT returning to your coveted jobs.

    There should be an American revolt to insist that the government does not use any of our tax dollars to fund your medical insurance coverage. I bet we see instant change in your attitudes, both Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

    July 29, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. Larry

    From 2003 to 2008 Max Baucus has received $3 million dollars from the health care/pharmaceutical/insurance industries.

    He has received more money from the health care industry than any other member of congress.

    July 29, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. Peoples Voice

    What to do? What to do? Vote for something that 70% of Americans want or sell their souls to the highest bidder.

    I have a dread that the money will win out and my fellow citizens will lose.

    July 29, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. Chris

    One way to help this healthcare plan along is to control the costs. For one, this and all other plans should not be a life long free way for people to make it through life. Without going into all of the statistics I would just say that the anchor of support the American taxpayers have given to people who will not work is now too heavy and it's dragging down this great country. When are we going to realize that the help people need is to show them the door out of relying on Uncle Sam to feed them, clothe them, house them, and take care of their medical bills! I am not referring to those who have worked all or most of their lives and now rely on Social Security checks or Medicare that they have earned through years of supporting their country as well as these systems. I am simply referring to those millions of people who live off of taxpayers every day of their lives and have become accustomed to the view.

    July 29, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. ge

    the corporation will never allow universal health care never

    July 29, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. Jerry Grunden

    The Repubs and Dems who are stalling getting healthcare passed this year are cowards. They are afraid to do the right thig as they fear not getting re-elected and fear not getting millions in re-election funds from the big health insurace companies. Time to to get a spine folks. Do what is right and pass healthcare bill now. Worry about getting re-elected later.

    July 29, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. sarahinfla

    Why can't our elected officials do there jobs without the need for lights, camera, action. No matter how serious the matter it's always about the money and the attention for our officials all of them. It's no wonder they are always bickering like little kids.

    While americans suffer in the streets, literally in the streets. Will these health plans being talked about provide for mental health care and facilities that are needed and may actually cut some of the crime and violence in this country. Some counseling maybe medication could go along way.

    July 29, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. jeff texas

    On the news last night a representative said he would have to hire two lawyers to read the 1000 page health bill to interpret everything that is in there. What does that tell you about this health care bill? I guarantee you not one of these so called representatives is representing their constituents and doing their job as they were elected to do.

    July 29, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Nuts

    An American doctor, not to be outdone, says 'You guys are way behind. We recently took a man with no brains out of Illinois , put him in the White House, and now half the country is looking for work.'

    July 29, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. annie s

    The "edge" of any deal that doesn't include a public option is the same as saying they are on the edge of doing absolutely nothing significant. Small businesses have already formed co-ops and it hasn't made it any easier to secure coverage and it hasn't reduced costs at all. I don't want a bipartisan agreement, I want an agreement that will truly benefit the American people....and everything I've heard coming from the Finance Committee will only benefit the for-profit insurance companies.

    July 29, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. Kat

    Sounds like a bunch of big empty words to me.

    July 29, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Willy Brown

    It’s Nancy’s and Harry’s culture of corruption democratic party. I am so looking forward to voting you all out.

    July 29, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Committee Chairman Max Baucus is nothing but a Repubicans and only a Demo on paper.

    July 29, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Tony G

    Senator Baucus along with many of the opponents of Single Payer health insurance and the public option are sleeping in the same bed as the insurance companies. It's plain as day that they are accepting bribes from lobbyists in order to kill President Obama's plans for insurance for all. It makes me sick and I really hope Americans wake up and there is a revolution down the road to clear out all of these corrupt people in Congress. They sure don't represent what I want for our country.

    July 29, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. joel palmer

    Woe betide those who stand in the way of healthcare reform.

    This includes any democrats who, for whatever reason, prevent the president from doing what we elected him and a congessional democratic majority in both house to do!

    I will wreak furious vengeance upon them who prevent healthcare reform NOW!

    the lord your god, ruler of the universe, almighty, the eternal

    July 29, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Ignorance reigns supreme with DEMS

    All these Democrats running around with their heads cut off trying to frantically pass a 1,000 + page bill that none of them understand and the which the majority of Dems have not even read, and which will adversely affect healthcare for many millions of Americans for years to come. Ignorance definitely reigns supreme in Washington among Dems. This is not cange we can believe in; this is change that we don't even know about. or understand. Historians will look back on this period in American politics and lable it the Big Con Job by a community agitator turned politician from the south side of Chicago

    July 29, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. Denise P Quinton

    President Obama is determined to keep his promise and pass healthccare, regardless of the effects it will have on Americans. I personally have studied all the different recommendations for healthcare and believe the Republican plan, not controlled by the government, is a true alternative which will not just constitute most Americans offering healthcare to low income families, medi cal recipients who get everything now for free while the remaining population struggle to meet skyroting healthcare premiums. The DNC refuses to listen to constituents and are all determined to pass healthcare as Feinstein preaches reform! Wake up Americans, do some research on the internet and realize President Obama's healthcare plan is going to bring us all down. We have to have access to making our own decisions and to the high technology tests which assist doctors in determining medical issues, so if Obama wants to prevent unnecessary MRI's and C T Scans, let him decide to do that for his family, not other Americans in health crisis!

    July 29, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    and the republicans and the insurance giants continue to go after fear and lies as to keep us all paying high insurance rates

    america needs to listen to the president and ask yourself
    why would he want to make it cost less?
    because we voted him into office to do just that . bring costs down and government waste .that the last eight years locked into a good republican puppy mill .

    July 29, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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