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. Lynda/Minnesota

    This is not an issue which the naysayers will be able to sweep under the carpet come 2010 elections. If health care reform fails, it won't be Obama who suffers, but rather the obstructionists.

    Funny thing about the GOP, and yes, the dem blue dogs. They have consistently misread the public this past year and more. Eventually their "out of touch reality" will catch up with their policy making decisions, or lack thereof, whichever the case may be.

    Too much reliance on faulty polls, no doubt.

    July 29, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. andrea

    With all their defects, Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA (all government programs) serve their patients better than the private insurance industry does - and they are non-profit!!!

    July 29, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. SHIRLEY "61"

    I believe Baccus to be as dishonest and treacherous as any crazy republican out there, and I hope that the people who elected this thief as a democratic senator wake up when it is time for his re-election and get rid of him. I also hope that true democrats are watching how these so-called democrats are not conducting themselves as we instructed them to do in the last election. Stupid heads, we want change!

    July 29, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Candy West Virginia

    Let's get the same coverage the house and senate has which btw the rethugs say it's socialized medicine what the President is trying to do yet they have those same socialized health care plans and aren't giving them up.

    July 29, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    How to pay for reform?

    END THE TRILLION DOLLAR UNWARRANTED IRAQ WAR

    July 29, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. MATT

    "Why should I have to pay for someone who goes to the emergency room every time they sneeze? Why should i have to pay for the person who makes up some pain in their back so they can feed their addiction to pain-killers?"

    "Why should you have to pay every time there is a fire? Every time the police are called? Does fire spread? Does crime spread? Does disease/illness spread?

    Understand now?"

    You left part of my quote out. The part about not going to the doctor often. When you cut out part of a quote... you change the meaning of it

    I dont pay for fire protection (volunteers) and there is minimal crime in the small town that i live in. I'm not saying that people shouldn't go to the doctor; I'm saying that if they do, they should be the ones that pay for it. If they don't have the money (like me) just toughen up a little.

    Unfortunately, i can't argue anymore because lunch is over and i have to go back to work so i can pay for the health insurance that I don't even use.
    I will really enjoy my job when i'm paying for everyone elses too haha.

    July 29, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Rush Goebbels

    Im belly laughing at Limbaugh now,he just called the President "doctor chicago".Hes so scared and desperate he will try anything to make Americans and the President fail to get the "public option".He WILL FAIL,and we the true Americans,that won the battle of Gettysburg will prevail.hahaha

    July 29, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. socalgal

    Health care reform is so very easy...just put all government employees on the same plans the rest of the citizens use. FIXED!

    July 29, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Tina, NC

    Boy the Republicans sure know how to frame a debate. Too bad they aren't so good at governing. I have never seen more lies and misrepresentations, like they are spewing, in my life. Pathetic!

    Enjoy your checks from Big Pharma and the Health Insurance Lobbyists!

    July 29, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Kathy

    Without a public option there is no health care reform. Heath care lobbyists continue to run congress. The insurance industry is basically a monopoly and doe not want to deal with competition.

    July 29, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Trisha

    And- Congress- YOU FIRST. I'll sign on to anything you legislate that requires YOUR ADHERANCE!!! If it's not good enough for you and your family, then it sure as hell isn't good enough for me and mine.

    July 29, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Ann C

    Get some backbone Democrats...if this does not happen you will be on the chopping block next election not the Republicans. Are you with the inusrance companies or the American people....who lines your pockets. Harry Reid needs to resign as leader and someone needs to come in and kick some butt! All of you need to go home and have to retire!

    July 29, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Independent thinker

    How many of you folks have actually read the bill? So many of you seem happy to spout off your partisan nonsense without actually having something informed to say. The fact of the matter is this: all those politicians (on both sides – there is no difference) you complain about are able to be so ineffective only because the majority of the poopulation allows them to be. Real "change" in this country refers to something much more engrained than a popular campaign slogan. We have suffered year after year of ineffective political leadership in Washington, including the WH and Congress. Until there is substantive change to the way we hold our politicians accountable, then there will be no real change. Despite his wonderful campaign rhetoric, Obama is just as much a part of the political establishment in this country as the rest of them. We are, after all and by most accounts, one of the least civic minded people in the world. Not only are we largely ignorant about politics, choosing instead to go on about the failings of everyone else's, but what is our active participation in the electoral process? 50% at best? Stop wasting your time with all these bozos and campaign for real change.

    July 29, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. Fix what you have

    The federal government needs to fix what they have...Medicare and VA....before they create more beaurocracy.

    July 29, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. Dave, Central Illinois

    Those of you who think that reputable insurance companies are the problem, don't know beans. It costs $650.00 for a doctor to shove a tube in my nose to look at my throat. It was done in the doctor's office and in less than 15 minutes! After a PPO discount, my insurance company paid over $450.00. What contributed to that high pricetag is the problem, folks.

    July 29, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Tired

    I love the GOP guy they had on the daily show the other day that said the government can run the most efficient health care in the world if you look at the quality of care they can provide for our military, but the average American doesn't deserve health care (his exact words).

    Now I'm seeing this Republican garbage about this being a program to sponsor abortion. Can these guys sink any lower? I've had it......Represent US for once instead of the corporations. I think it's time we petitioned to remove their health care options and set term limits, enough is enough.

    July 29, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Joyce Welch

    I am sorry to hear that the blue dog dems is cutting out the public choice, even though a lot of us want it. I hear that they are accepting money from the health care industry and the insurance companies. I hope, if this happens, we will all work to get rid of those politicians that are bound and determined that their right to make money is more inportant than the public need.

    July 29, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. Peggy - TX

    The Democrats are doing poor job of educating the American people on the various aspects of the new health care plan.

    The Republicans have done a good filling the void and the fact is many of the arguments they present, rather then the typical nutty, party of NO, dribble, actually resonates with reality. For example the issue of funding insurance for illegal immigrants and the likely hood of a public health care option putting the private sector out of business.

    This long time, loyal, Democrat, thinks that the talking heads representing Democratic view this last week on the cable TV simply lacked credibility.

    July 29, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. Save America

    Anyone who votes for this crap will be voted out of office.

    July 29, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. minnie

    Read page 425. They want the seniors to die.
    Nothing should pass that does not include Congress, Obama and the rest of those hudlums in Washington.
    Not good enough for them , not good enough for me.

    July 29, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. MJ

    Why is there such a rush to get this passed? Watched a Congressman (D) who said, "It would take 2 days to read it and a lawyer to interpret. So why bother?" That doesn't scare you? Do you really want Big Government to run your Health Care? Government can't do the job they have, let alone dictate treatment, medications that are based on a "profile". We need reform, but let's get it right! Only 1/2 of 1% has been used in the Stimulus Bill. Where are the jobs? Where is the money going?

    July 29, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Randolph Carter

    How about this: Kick all of the lobbyists out of DC, Make all campaign contributions anonymous and limit congress to 2 terms just like the president. But that will never happen. Have a nice day!

    July 29, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. John Q Public

    Wow ! I'll BUY that ! Now WHERE IS THAT BRIDGE YOU SAID YOU HAD FOR SALE ? What else does the admin have for sale ? Are they going to SELL THE U S of A t o the CHINESE ? It seems to me that these politicians (including thee TOP DOG) don't care what they sell as long as they can stay in washington and LINE THEIR OWN POCKETS at the expense of us ( John Q Public – the tax payers). The politicians are NOT looking out for what's best for those of us that elect them that's for d-m sure. Come on public – get off you c-ns and go to work – pay your bills – support your families and stop looking for hand outs ! LET'S GET BACK TO THE "OLD FASHION" WAY OF DOING THINGS – ie; TAKE CARE OF YOUR SELF.

    July 29, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Jann in Denver

    Health care reform is going to happen whether the GOP likes it or not. They might as well give up and give in.

    July 29, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. GuitrDad

    So...REPUBLICAN Senator Chuck Grassley tells NPR they are "on the edge of a deal". Interesting. Very subtle way of setting an expectation among the public and then pointing blame at the Dems if it is not met.

    I just roll my eyes and smile when I see the depths that desperate politicians will stoop to these days.

    To quote Larry the Cable Guy: "Git 'r done!!!"

    July 29, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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