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. Pat from Texas

    Hey John Q. Public, the Chinese already owns the USA, when was the last time you bought something that was made in America? At a time where services and the cost of living is way, way up and the wages are low, it is up to our country to come to the aid of it's people. We provide foreign aid to other countries yet ignore our own poor and disadvantaged. Health care is a right, not a priviledge!

    July 29, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Rush Goebbels

    This BILL will pass.

    July 29, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. jimbo

    Read the bill! It will scare you to death. All you advocates are as bad as Congress, wanting something you don't even understand. i still don't know why "terrified of a black president" is even in this thread. The bill will screw over people of all ethnicities.

    July 29, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. white eagle

    the federal government should mind the store and let the vendors run the sales.......by that I mean run the country and let the private sector take care of the people........ medical problems should be left to medical people to handle as in the past i.e. take care of the indigents for free and
    let those with insurance (like myself) pick up the slack with some regulation of course.................................................................................to keep down the cost

    July 29, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. marvinj

    Why are the republicans so afraid to work with the president. At least this would give them a chance to help clean up the ridiculous mess there republican president with there support created.

    And we actually have idiots who act as though the current administration caused the high unemployment, and financial situation. Please people .. Policies sometimes take years to feel the full effects thats why we are just starting to deeply feel the damage the Bush years actually have done and will continue until Obama's plans really get in he pipeline. The GOP are afraid his plans will work thats there true fear!!!

    July 29, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. Jared

    I guess all you liberals out there saying "do what the people want get this done now." Haven't seen the recent polls that show time after time that Americans are not for this healthcare bill. They want Obama and the senate to slow down and get it right. If your for this plan go to Mass. and Cal. they are practically bankrupt because of "free healthcare". Is that what you liberals want? Seriously? We aren't here to argue paying for wars people. I hate the argument "Bush got to pay for a war let Obama pay for healthcare" First off Obama's healthcare plan is more than triple what Iraq has cost, and thats just the first 10 years. Where are we going to get this money from? The magic money tree Obama seems to think he has behind the White House? No its coming out of hard working people's pockets.

    July 29, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. white eagle

    P.S. tell me more about that bridge can I really by it ha!ha!ha!

    July 29, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. DoubleR

    Taxpayers beware! This is another example of something else that is being shoved down our throats. I cannot understand the rush – Health Care reform is a giant uncontrolled beast much too BIG to move so fast. What was the saying, if it sounds too good to be true – it probably isn’t. You don’t have to look too far back to see the truth of that saying, Look behind, do you see all that pork! Oink!

    July 29, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Mack

    The rich repugs and blue dogs are fighting for the rich insurance companies. Simple.

    July 29, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. Scott the Independent

    Well just so they are aware anyone opposing a public option might as well sign their letter of resignation effective 11/4/2009; no need to wait for the election result because you won't be.

    July 29, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. Scott the Independent

    As a middle aged man taking care of my grandmother I know for a fact the living will and the "end of life" provisions in the bill are necessary; in fact a health proxy should also be encouraged. Not being prepared for the event of a health emergency is just plain stupid.

    July 29, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Wayne

    I don't know what you would call what Congress does to Americans, it's not communism, it's not socialism, but we have the worst health care, now they are talking of taxing food to make us healthy. Something is really, really, wrong in this country. Republicans are talking secession which is un-American and treason. Everyone owns at least one or two weapons, things could get pretty interesting if this infighting keeps up. We have people wearing masks and raising terrorists and drug cartels invading from the south. We all better brighten up soon.

    July 29, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. white eagle

    politicians do not good doctors make.....be afraid be very afraid for something evil this way comes

    July 29, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Hilary

    What part of "you will have a choice between keeping the insurance you have or signing up for the public option" do people not understand? If you like paying exorbitant premiums to people who are only interested in lining their own pockets, then so be it. If you try the public option and you find that you don't like it, switch back to your private insurance. There needs to be a choice though, and that's what the President wants to give us. Just like you don't want to be forced into a public option, we don't want to be forced to buy from crooked, for-profit insurance companies.

    July 29, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. Doug, New Jersey

    "Read page 425. They want the seniors to die."

    Well these old people offer nothing to the Democrats. It's all about the nieve, ignorant, Obama idol worshiping young who will blindly vote Democrat everytime as long as John Stewert, Bill Mayr, and Cobert keep telling them to. The old people who watch fox news think for themselves and are smart enough to know a scam and a liar when they see one. Better to give care to a lazy drug addict 20 year old, rather than save the life of an older American who has worked hard his or her whole life and paid 6 or 7 figures worth of taxes. BTW, just being honest, I'm young, but I think for myself.

    July 29, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Kevin in Ohio

    With no vote until September, now is the time for all conservatives to let your congressman and senators know we do not want this bill forced down our throats. We need reform, but it must 1) include tort reform, 2) not pay for elective procedures such as abortion, plastic surgery, etc. 3) provide adequate care to the elderly, not death counseling, and 4) be fiscally sound over the long haul. We cannot afford this bill as it stands.

    July 29, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. Troy from NJ

    I think Max Baucus is trying to gain power. He doesnt realize that people want real reform and if it does not come, the senate will have a bunch of new faces starting in 2010.

    July 29, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Ken

    I want to know just how many in congress have even read this bill? Why are they being pressured by the president? WHY THE RUSH?

    How is this going to be paid for?

    Has the bill been changed to make sure that the 12 to 20 million ILLEGAL ALIENS are NOT going to be able to get free medical care at the expense of the LEGAL citizens in this country?

    What are the "Blue Dog" democrats getting in return for their votes?


    July 29, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. Sujith, NE

    Please people ! Republicans are busy spending Insurance lobbyist constributions.So are these so called blue dog democrats. They have been fine ignoring the middle class all this time and they know people forget all this before the elections.
    What do you say?

    July 29, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Bridgette

    White men are greedy and will do anything for money. Including destroying their own country. And I am not trying to be racisist but if you look at the Senate and Congress you see who actually runs it and it's a mess. They can't get anything right. From the budget to anything else because they are too busy trying too make sure they still have their side money coming in.See what we pay them is nothing compared to what they make from their real employers the Corporations. If you all at made at what is going on in this country you know who has and who still runs it. From the corporations on down.

    July 29, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. mike

    How many Americans leave this country to have medical procedures done in other countries?

    July 29, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. yuri

    Don't be so pessimistic. Why can't you guys get rid of the word"derail" and give a positive spin to it?

    July 29, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. gideonwayne

    The "blue dog" repubs are selling out the American people.

    July 29, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Working Class American

    We already have totally government funded health care in this country and it is there for the use of the men and women who have served in our military, folks! And guess what? It works quite well . . .so well in fact that it is considered far superior to ANY private health care provider in the country! Ask any of your military friends . . . would they give up the health care currently available to them through the government in favor of a private insurer . . . go ahead and ASK THEM! The answer will be a resounding NO!

    July 29, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. aware

    Don't attempt to fix what isn't broken. Just deal with the things that need fixing! And don't be a bully in the bully pulpit! 😦

    A complete overhaul of our health system is an excessive over-reach being driven relentlessly by a naive, arrogant, narcissistic ideologue!

    July 29, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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