September 7th, 2009
11:21 AM ET
9 years ago

Baucus floats compromise on health care

Baucus proposes dropping public option from health care bill.

Baucus proposes dropping public option from health care bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A proposed health-care compromise by the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee lacks a government-run insurance option favored by Democrats and would tax the most expensive health insurance plans, a source close to the discussions told CNN Monday.

As expected, the proposal from Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, excludes the so-called public insurance option to compete with private insurers. However, it would allow for the creation of non-profit health care cooperatives - an idea that some moderate Democrats and Republicans have expressed possible interest in supporting.

The potential compromise proposal was sent to key Finance Committee negotiators Saturday night. It is considered a last-ditch effort to secure Republican votes for a health-care bill as President Barack Obama pushes the issue with a planned speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night.

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Filed under: Democrats • Health care
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. helena shin

    A federally funded health insurance program which is affordable and provides quality care for all Americans is what was promised by the Democrats and Obama, and should be enacted. Expecting private for-profit corporations to voluntarily reduce premiums and enact changes is ludicrous. Please do not lie to the public, republican dominated CNN. Thank you.

    September 7, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Joyce in South Carolina

    Way to go Baccus!!!!! Give in to the Republicans and Blue Dogs (Republicans in disguise). I am ashamed of Senator Baccus. He should stand up for what is right!!!!!

    Many of us voted for President Obama to get health care reform. There is no way, the insurance companies will do anything different without the public option. I, for one, have been ripped off by the insurance companies for way too long.

    Reform MUST include a public option!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 7, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Garrett from MN

    Cooperatives are a joke. The only way they will make any sort of impact is if they are large in size. However I can virtually guarantee these will be small co-ops maybe sucking up 1% of the market which in turn will now persuade companies in being more competitive. Its a waste of a proposal.

    What should be done is actually what some of the GOP have been calling for.....allowing competition across state lines.....however for that to be done there must be some serious regulations put in place so companies don't cross state lines just to get in the least regulated state.....there would have to be the creation of at least some basic universal regulations that would cover all states.

    I would also favor throwing in a public option on top of that just to help spurt competition more quickly.

    What really makes me upset and the media nor any in congress really talks about is that nothing is being done about prescription costs. Why aren't we allowing the gov to negotiate for Medicare part D ?!!!

    September 7, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Holly

    I agree with others here. Don't just name a "powerful man" as your source. It makes your credibility highly questionable.

    September 7, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Dave in Illinois

    Wow, it will cost "less than $900 billion". Given the government's unrealistically optimistic projections of waste saved, taxes raised and program costs, the true total will probably be somewhere north of $2 trillion.

    Regardless of the number, where will the money come from in this econony? The "rich" who are much less rich as evidenced by falling tax receipts? Companies who are cutting costs to the bone to stay in business? The insurance companies who will have to cover the new unfunded mandates on pre-existing conditions? The pharma companies who made a deal with Obama only to have the Congress renege on it? Health care providers who will have to provide more services at reduced reimbursements? Senior citiziens on fixed incomes who will see billions taken away from their "wasteful" Medicare Advantage insurance?

    Congress is like the monkey with his hand in the candy jar who's stuck because he is trying to grab everything in one handful. One well considered piece at a time works better.

    September 7, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Sam Sixpack

    Just so long as it still requires Americans to pay all they can "afford" to big, fat, insurance executives, this bill will still do what was intended – suck as much money as possible out of Americans.

    September 7, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. diane08

    The "Key Senate Dem" they are referring to is Sen. Max Baucus, who by the way just happens to be THE LARGEST recipient of campaign funds from insurance company lobbyists.

    The other Senators that have received insurance company lobbyist money are all either Republicans, or "Blue Dog" Democrats.

    Oh, wait a minute, those are the same people who oppose a public option....... WHAT A COINCIDENCE!!!

    Funny how they left this part out of their story.
    Stop waiting for the mainstream media to spoon feed you the truth. If you want the real facts, you have to do your own research.

    September 7, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Mike1952

    Okay, tax insurance companies as a way of lowering health insurance costs. How stupid do you have to be to believe that idea? BO is a weak leader and his party is lost as to how to do the will of the people. The majority of Americans will support health care reform that makes sense and does not allow the federal government more control over our lives.

    September 7, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. JS007

    This is a disgrace. Co-ops are way less efficient, will create more paperwork, and will be a lot more complicated and less powerful than the public option. I guess the insurance companies win again. As an economist looking at this it breaks my heart to see the American people screwed yet again by the lobbies in Washington and their enablers in the Senate.

    September 7, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Lori laughs at the GOP daily! Despite their race baiting politics they still trail the Dems!!!

    If the Dems pass legislation without a public option, I will officially start to lose respect for them!!! President Obama needs to do what the Republicans did when they were the majority- ignore their opponents and push the policies you were elected on. My interest is NOT in big business, my interest is insuring American men, women and children who aren't insured and who those who need access to affordable health care. President Obama and the Dems need to realize that the reason why they are the majority party and the Republicans are the minority (and still aren't trusted by the vast majority of Americans, according to recent polling) is because we elected you to push your agenda. We need a public option!!!

    September 7, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Kurt from Alberta

    Gutless. The Democrats are absolutely gutless. They have a HUGE majority in the House and Senate. They have the presidency. And still, STILL they acquiesce. They would rather appease a small, vocal, minority who took over the town halls than the majority who voted for them.

    Of course now a precedent has been set. All you have to do is show up enmass at a town hall meeting, shout down the speaker, and they'll eventually bend over for you.

    And the kicker is that the Republicans STILL won't support this.


    September 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. suzyku

    Bauccus needs to NOT be spearheading the health care reform! He's useless.

    September 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. if you can construct a viable option

    then drop the public one, but DO NOT LEAVE healthcare in the current state, THEY CANNOT run themselves, that is obvious

    September 7, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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