“There’s lots of things we could agree to on a bipartisan basis,” Pawlenty said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “the public option isn’t one of them. The trigger option simply kicks the can down the road.”
Under the trigger proposal, a public option would become available later, should the private insurance industry not meet certain benchmarks on coverage and cost.
“If the Democrats embrace the public option,” Pawlenty also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “even in the form of the trigger, they’re going to shoot themselves in the foot.”
Asked about the alternative of non-profit health care co-operatives, an idea championed by North Dakota Democrat Sen. Kent Conrad during bipartisan negotiations in the Senate Finance Committee, Pawlenty rejected the idea that co-ops could solve the problem of rising costs in the country’s health care system.
Howard Kurtz bucked that trend on Reliable Sources with an interview with CBS News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Lara Logan, taped just before she left for the region. CNN's Anderson Cooper will also report from Afghanistan beginning Monday.
Logan said that since the beginning of the war after the terrorist strikes of September 11th 2001 both journalists and the public have been misled about the real situation in Afghanistan
(CNN) – Just days before President Obama is set to address a joint session of Congress in an effort to get the health care reform debate back on track, two Democrats senators have lots of advice for Obama and his young administration.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,“ Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “for him to put the meat on the bones, to really give the American people some details.”
Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson’s advice suggested that Obama and congressional Democrats have, up to this point, lost control of the message war in the health care reform debate.
“If, somehow, the private market doesn’t respond the way that it’s supposed to [to other aspects of health care reform], then it would trigger a public option or a government-run option,” Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “but only as a fail safe, backstop to the process. And when I say trigger ... I don’t mean a hair trigger. I mean a true trigger – one that would only apply if there isn’t the kind of competition in the business that we believe there would be.”
Fellow Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota appeared open to the use of a trigger but said she needs more information about what Nelson is proposing.
“I’d want to see what those triggers are, what the benchmarks are,” Klobuchar told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. Klobuchar also said that she was concerned about the high costs of health insurance faced by many small businesses and self-employed individuals.
“Certainly it’s worth looking at,” Klobuchar said of possibly using a trigger to set up a public health insurance option three to five years after any health care reform bill is enacted. “But we have to push competition. We have to do a better job of putting some rules on the insurance companies.”
The use of a trigger to bring a government-run insurance option into the insurance market is a proposal currently under consideration by the White House. It’s an effort to win the support of Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, one of the three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee’s so-called “Gang of Six” and the one who appears most open to reaching a compromise with the White House and congressional Democrats.
(CNN) – Two Democratic senators said Sunday that they would prefer not to see their party use “reconciliation,” a procedural maneuver in the Senate designed for budgetary legislation which only requires 50 votes for a bill to pass, in order to get a health care reform bill passed without the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster.
“I would like to see us at 60. I would like to see some bipartisan support for this bill,” Minnesota Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar said on CNN’s State of the Union.
“I do think that it is a possibility,” Klobuchar said of the prospect of winning Republican support in the Senate for health care reform.
“The problem with going down to 50 is we just have more limited tools in terms of getting the kind of work that needs to get done to help people.”
Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat from Nebraska, suggested using reconciliation to pass a health care reform bill with a simple majority might stoke some of the fear and unease seen at some town hall meetings across the country during the congressional August recess.
“The people in Nebraska are already concerned that we’ve been rushing things through,” Nelson told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “and if we went to some sort of parliamentary shortcut, I think they would be even more alarmed than they are right now. That’s what I heard during the town hall meetings.”
After suggesting that Democrats should craft a bill that would get at least 60 votes in the Senate, Nelson also suggested Sunday that the ambitious plans for health care reform favored by some – especially more liberal members of his own party – should be scaled back in favor of a more piecemeal approach.