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. 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 |
  2. REF

    i agree that if the dems pass a health care bill all politicians should be included especially obama 2nd b/4 i will take them seriously it has to contain real tort reform 3rd also it includes only american citizens look at california for an example of caring for illegal aliens 4th
    it has to be read and debated and the public has to be informed of every aspects of the bill no lawyer double talk 5th it cannot add to our deficiet 6th those of us who like our doctors and plans are exempt 7 l everyone should pay something and make finacial sacrifices for insurance no free rides everyone must pay so far none of these plans do not include any of these criterias that have been stated

    July 29, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Bev

    This is a takeover of the Healthcare industry by the government. Together with Cap and Trade our economy will completely go under. If the news media did it's job it would be playing the campaign promises Obama made about how we are all going to have to sacrifice and live less "lavishly" and how people with money are going to have to "pay" for being rich. You will see how the Apollo Alliance, Acorn, and SEIU are organizing socialistic policies for our country and Obama has those community leaders in place (Google Van Jones) to do just that. This is a TAKEOVER of our country by socialism. We CANNOT allow this to happen. People need to stop drinking the Koolaid and get the FACTs. Obama is a liar. He told us what would happen in the campaign and it is happening...and the news media is not telling the people.

    July 29, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. Libertarian

    Yes, 80% of Americans have SOME kind of health care coverage. However, what percentage of those are on state sponsored health care plans or medicare/medicaid. We've also seen the the number of uninsured rising full percentage points each year for the past decade!!! Some of your are saying the system is fine?? In 10 years we'd be looking at 70% uninsured. Are we going to wait until the system is in total meltdown before we act? Then what? We bail out hospitals??

    The wheels are coming off the system – we need to start addressing it now. Call it socialism but you when you need the Police – they are there. When your house is on fire – the firemen are there. When your kids need education – the teachers are there. Some things need to be universal. You're already paying for the uninsured anyway in higher premiums.

    July 29, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Joe@Pa

    Maybe Baucus ,Grassley, and the rest of the House and Senate should realize they work for we the people and NOT the insurance companies! Why doesn't CNN and the networks have a list as to how much the insurance company lobies pay these bums?

    July 29, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. WMiller

    I just read where Maxine Waters is blaming Rahm Emanuel for the disaster Obama's attempt at health care is rapidly turning into – the reason? He had the audacity to recruit non-socialist democrats; this is the reason that the dems aren't bending (over) to Obama's whim. As if the dems would even be in power if they had gotten some mainstream folks in the mix! Oh those wacky libs, I love watching them implode.

    July 29, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Bev

    This is NOT about giving healtcare to people who are uninsured. This is about destroying the economy. All states who tried universal coverage for healthcare went BANKRUPT. Medicare/Medicaid is going BANKRUPT...we have trillion dollar deficits. If this bill passes and cap and trade passes...wave goodbye to any luxury you have. The government will be in charge. We will live in poverty in this country for decades. WE CANNOT PASS THIS BILL. It will destroy this country.

    July 29, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Kate in SW Fla

    When I think of all the money this country wastes, from gas guzzling cars to wars of choice, then see all the hyperventilation about seed money to repair a painfully broken medical health care system, I feel no optimism at all. Even if changes are made, it will not be to benefit citizens, only insurers and politicians. I wish Obama could put through the kind of plan he had wanted, that is one reason why people voted for him. But it is not all up to him. He can lead, which he does, but he can not force a deal. It is alraming to me to hear all the questions and comments at the town hall meetings that are Republican-Insurance Industry talking points, almost verbatim. It is hopeless. We will continue to decline as a world power because we have allowed our political system to be reduced to this partisan tug of war. the rich, who have benefitted the most over the past 15 years or so, will all just move elsewhere, just like Halliburton did. It is not the "socialists" who are destroying us, it is the lobbyists.

    July 29, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Uncle Fester

    I look for the health care bill to pass. After Obama and his administration ( Chicago Gangsters ) start breaking arms it'll pass!

    July 29, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. Jason

    Thank God the Republicans are getting the word out to the American people what a disaster Obama's health care plan is.

    This needs to be stopped, NOW!!!

    July 29, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Gettysburg Revisited

    Lets give these bluedogs and rednecks another heapin helpin of what America stands for.

    July 29, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Joe

    First, show me you can fix medicare, medicaid and Veterans healthcare. THEN I might buy into yet another round of "reform we can believe in". In other words, the government needs to fix it's own healthcare programs before it "reforms" private health insurance!

    July 29, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. IQ test required for all VOTERS!

    ALL the delays and defeats reek of REPUBLICAN CORRUPTION.

    kick them ALL out of washington!!!!

    July 29, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. ROBERT

    Trying to defeat something as important as this just because of politics is typical of the GOP and will help the Democrats gain even more seats.

    July 29, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. andrea

    If the elimination of the public option and the taxation of the benefits of the Americans who have insurance through their employers are part of this "reform" by the Senate Finance Committee, then the package is nothing but a republican plan endorsed by 3 democrat stooges.

    July 29, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. John

    What people do not seem to understand. If this does pass and we have the option to keep our own insurance-it won't be long before these companies go out of business and you will HAVE to be on government healthcare. And don't dare believe what Obama is trying to sell about this plan. And one would ask the question when something is so great for Americans (like he really cares) why is it not good enough for him?????

    July 29, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  17. Bev

    WHERE ARE THE JOBS??? Obama needs to make good on his promises before he gets any more money. The stimulus failed. It went to pay off the people who got him elected...not to the things he promised it would go to. He is a LIAR and the American people are finally realizing this. Healthcare reform and cap and trade will destroy our economy. If you thought that the Jimmy Carter years were bad...hang on to your hat because it is going to be ten times worse this go around. Socialism is taking over the government and Obama did not hide that goal during the campaign. The news media ignored it and the people didn't listen. Van Jones of Apollo Alliance, SEIU and ACORN are going to destroy this country and the American people need to WAKE UP and find out the facts. Healthcare reform is not about insuring the 10% of people without insurance. It's about controlling 1/6 of the economy. FRAUD will have a whole new meaning if this passes.

    July 29, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Mark

    I believe our friend Barack is going to get an earfull when he shows up at Krogers. The folks that can just bearely feed their families will give him a sampling of how the rest of us reallt feel about all these tax & spend / feel good programs they're jamming down our throats...

    July 29, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. debbie

    The question people need to ask is "Why are the private insurance companies so afraid of a public option (that is not free as people must pay premiums)". Answer..because they will no longer have the monopoly and be able to rob people of their money.

    July 29, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. dominican mama 4 Obama

    I see the lobbyists and Big Business reps are with us posting lies and pandering to people's fears and ignorance. Apparently they are also working with CNN's "moderators" making sure that none of us can call them out.

    July 29, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. Jack Walden

    Just goes to show America is in trouble no matter which party is in power. Republicans always stand united and this allowed likes of George Bush to create the mess that he did.
    Democrats on the other hand are always dis-united, can never get anything done as they always bicker, fight and can never see eye to eye on any issue.

    July 29, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Patrick

    "We will live in poverty in this country for decades. WE CANNOT PASS THIS BILL. It will destroy this country."

    Sure...never invest in your own people which is exactly what healthcare would do. ALWAYS spend $ 33,000 per Iraqi to liberate another country while enriching Kellogg Brown and Root.

    It's about time we started spending our money here... and socialism as you put it is not an entity thats going to "take over our country".

    July 29, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Sea.gem

    Those in favor of Obama's proposal, please stop pretending to be Dems...you are Socialists, and those policies have failed globally for generations.

    July 29, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Independent thinker

    Has anyone asked the members of congress and the president if they are prepared to give up the current health coverage they have (incidentally, who pays for it?) for the government-run 'public' option? I'd really like to know the answer to that important question.

    July 29, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Larry from RI

    Time for the blue dogs to go!
    They are nothing but an extension of the party of NO.

    It's high time these elected officials started doing the buisness of the people instead of for Wall St.

    Who's government is this anyway?

    July 29, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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