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. tisgoogle

    Republicans are being paid off by the insurance companies! They are one sick group of people!

    July 29, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. jpspec

    Presently there is a petition circulating. It requires any member of the house or senate who signs it will promise to read any bill FIRST and then vote. To date only a few representative have been willing to sign. this.

    Why? It is only one page and written in simple non legal language. I do not care if one is pro or con on health care reform and I can see no reason why any voter would object to this.

    I would love to see the media give this more coverage.

    July 29, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Jimmy

    I don't see why baucus and his committee are even bothering – it's obvious they're not interested in reform. They're rejecting the basic tenents of effective and efficient health care reform. A watered down bipartisian bill that accomplishes none of the goals is useless. It's apparent that his committee and the blue dogs are looking out for the interests of the insurance companies, not their constituents.

    July 29, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. MT

    Have the few WORKING AMERICANS that are not on welfare/unemployment pay for a new "gov sponsored" system without fixing the rising costs.... sure that sounds like big government to me.

    Just pay for it now, we "the government" will fix the real issue later on.

    July 29, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. I want what nancy pelosi Has

    This is simple folks. I want the identical plan that nancy Pelosi, Harry reid, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Barney Frank, and every senator and congressperson has - nothing more and nothing less. If I cannot have that, I do not want anything changed. Simple enough

    July 29, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Angie in Pa

    THIS SENATOR IS IN BED WITH THE INSURANCE COMPAINES! he has taking Millions of dollars of lobbysit money from the Insurance Compaines people its time to come together and put a stop to the Lobbying make CONGRESS WORK FOR US NOT THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 29, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Janet

    Would be nice to say what deal you're writing about. Could this be a deal on health policy??

    July 29, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Can you stand the TRUTH?

    Lord I hope no deal is reached. They are more or less leaving the government to decide medicare holders as to whether they're worty of keeping around or cutting off their services. One way to weed out the ageded who are living too long, isn't it? WHAT BROUGHT US TO THIS. THE MISSUSE OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS THAT BELONGED TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY TAXPAYERS. YOU CALL THIS EMBEZZLEMENT AND THE ONES WHO INITATED THIS SHOULD BE IMPRISONED.

    July 29, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. john

    The "party of no" has turned into the "party of lies".

    July 29, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Wil B

    So many people on hear refuse to look at the past administration for the jobs loss. Thing get worse before they get better and i was under no impression that Obama could turn it around in 7 months. Anyone who was is an idiot, plain and simple. The economy has never turned around that fast, ever. The arrogance of those claiming the Democrats are going to ruin this country is lie as well. I trust them far more than I do the self righteous republicans. Dont get me wrong, they are not without fault but Im certianly will to giove more the 8 months before coming to a cursory judgement on them or the Obama presidency.

    July 29, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Roger

    In order to put thing in proper prospective, all members of the government should have their health plan closed, and put them under the same rules that they are trying to impose on us Amercians. They get everthing free so they have nothing to lose. We cannot have a system for them and another for us who they are supposed to represent. The facts are out there but no one is listening. Get rid of the old fogies that have been around for centuries and bring in good young people with fresh ideas.

    July 29, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Boycotts Work

    I see the paid company snakeoil salesmen and Street Teamers are here posting in mass,trying to scare people as always.

    July 29, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Esco

    Bring our troops home!!!

    July 29, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. slp

    I will be the first to admit that we need some healthcare reform in this country. However, we do not need to fix the whole system. There are things that work about it and the quality is the best in the world. I like my healthcare plan overall. It is mine and I pay for it. At least right now, if I have a problem, I have the right to complain and try to get something changed. Often this works. What all of you fail to understand is that under a government run plan you will not be able to do this. You will take what you get and be quiet. Why should I have to take less than what I have now and also pay for someone else's healthcare that won't work to pay for their own.

    July 29, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. T KS

    Max Baucus is a criminal. He is completely in the pocket of the Insurance companies. He is only acting with their interests in mind. We are all doomed if we have to leave this up to him. Hopefully he is not as powerful as he thinks he is.

    July 29, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. bozo the obama

    Democrats are being paid off by the insurance companies! They are one sick group of people!

    July 29, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. Asian4Hillary

    There are people in this thread who never read what's in that bill, they're like those Democrats who voted for PORKULUS BILL without reading it. In that bill there is COUNSEL TO END OF LIFE which will be done every 5 years by a government agent. In that bill also it is clear it is not you and your doctor will decide what kind of treatment is best for you – that decision will be done by the government. There is no cost savings on this, in fact it will increase cost and take this country deeper in debt. Look at social security sytem, MEDICARE, MEDICAID, VA HEALTHCARE managed by the government, it full of wasteful spending and abuse. Maybe those who support this socialize medicine of Obama has a DEATHWISH.

    Are you willing to die for Obama's healthcare?

    July 29, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    Hmm. Looks as if the lobbyists are winning this battle.

    It's been a very long time since Congress has done anything to protect the "little people". Afterall, we only elect them and pay their salaries.

    Big business handles all the rest of their perks.

    July 29, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. lynn in NM

    This could be why they want the Republicans to leave town (and think there will be no vote before Friday), so they can railroad the bill through.

    July 29, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. The Reverend Graham P. Matthews, Ph.D.

    The Democrats should demand that a Public Option be part of the Health Care Plan, without backing down like 73% of the people want.

    When are they going to play Hard Ball with the so-called Blue Dogs and the other members of Congress who seem to be in the pockets of the Insurance and Pharmacy Industry?

    President Barak Obama needs to come forward and publicly say to the nation that as President, he is the voice of the 47 million people in the USA who have no voice or health insurance.

    A leader takes a stand for those less fortunate, the oppressed, the forgoten and the vulnerable in our society.

    Which side do the Democratic Party and you represent Mr.President?

    July 29, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Princess

    The Republicans are against anything proposed by President Obama. All they care about is supporting the insurance companies which are making a fortune out of our health.

    July 29, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Stephan

    This debate is about access to affordable health care – simple. Those who seek to kill the efforts (RNC, Hannity, Gingrich, Limbaugh, etc) continue to try and change the debate into nationalized health care. As I read the President's direction he wants a plan that allows the 85% with insurance they like to keep that insurance and for employers to continue to offer it as a benefit, and the other 15% are eligible for covergae through a government supplied coverage plan. The insurance companies don't like that part because they say they can't compete against the government. But they don't offer that 15% of the population affordable products anyway – so why do they care?

    July 29, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Shawn - GA

    I have tried 3 times now to post about how Congress is censoring their member and letting them tell us the truth... every time it gets erased and not posted here.... How deep does this Censoring go???

    This is scary stuff!!! Please for your sake and your children's sake learn the details of this bill.

    July 29, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Fla.

    Sen. Baucus unfortunately appears to be lackey for greedy insurance companies, instead of the American people.

    In fact, Baucus collected $3 million in campaign contributions from insurance/health interests, and ONLY 10% of it came from his home state.

    CNN, please post this valid information when discussing any of these so-called "conservatives" against the majority-supported public option.

    July 29, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. lefty loosy

    Yup the government will fix healthcare just like they have fixed all the
    other programs they have been involved in. Ha ha ha ha.
    Wanna buy a $500 toilet , they probably have a few left..
    oops cant say left will be accused of being a no good republican.
    Fact of the matter is wether dem or rep federal plan it will have
    cost overruns , graft and corruption. Oh yeah and lets fine the people
    that don't have health care , brings to mind the saying
    "the operation was a success but the patient died"

    July 29, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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