September 17th, 2009
04:49 PM ET
5 years ago

Baucus gets support from the center

Sen. Max Baucus revealed a health care reform plan that Wednesday does not include a public option but mandates coverage.
Sen. Max Baucus revealed a health care reform plan that Wednesday does not include a public option but mandates coverage.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senator Max Baucus stood alone on Wednesday when he introduced his summary for a health care reform bill. But one day later, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is getting some support from the center.

Four centrist senators Thursday issued a statement praising the Montana senator's efforts to produce a reform bill that may be able to attrack bipartisan support, even though the lawmakers say they have disagreements with aspects of his proposals.

But the senators, Independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Democrats Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine, vowed to "put aside partisan views" and work to pass a health care bill.

"We commend Chairman Baucus for his efforts to forge a health care reform proposal that has the potential to gain broad bipartisan support. We are encouraged by his commitment to work with both Democrats and Republicans in the Finance Committee, and believe there is a responsibility for both sides of the aisle to work together to develop a bill that will earn strong support from the full Senate," said the senators in a joint statement Thursday.

–CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this story


Joint Statement:


WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, a bipartisan group of senators issued this statement about "The America's Healthy Future Act" proposal for health care reform released by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana:

"We commend Chairman Baucus for his efforts to forge a health care reform proposal that has the potential to gain broad bipartisan support. We are encouraged by his commitment to work with both Democrats and Republicans in the Finance Committee, and believe there is a responsibility for both sides of the aisle to work together to develop a bill that will earn strong support from the full Senate.

"Despite the differences that have emerged in this health care debate, there is much that we all agree on, including insurance market reforms that bar insurance companies from discriminating against people based on their health status or denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions. We also agree on prevention and wellness investments, critical delivery reforms like paying for quality rather than quantity, increasing access to care by improving health care provider training programs, and reducing uncompensated care by extending tax credits to American families to help pay for their health care coverage.

"Each of us has an obligation to put aside partisan views and to consider how health care reform addresses the needs and challenges faced by individual citizens and our economy as a whole. While we each have outstanding concerns we wish to see addressed, Senator Baucus has taken an important and critical step forward with this legislation. We will continue to work together in the full Senate on bipartisan health care reform that reduces costs, improves care, and expands access."

Ben Nelson Olympia J. Snowe
United States Senator, Nebraska United States Senator, Maine
Joseph I. Lieberman Claire McCaskill
United States Senator, Connecticut United States Senator, Missouri


Filed under: Health care • Max Baucus • Senate
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Willy Brown

    Token support only

    September 17, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  2. mike

    I thought uhbama said he had a plan, or he had a bill. When can we see uhbamas plan, the one he said he had last week? Is uhbama lying?

    September 17, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. Jon

    The only bipartisan thing about this committee's proposal is that most Republicans and most Democrats don't like this proposal

    September 17, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. evman

    The insurance industry is happy for all the 3 million dollars they gave to Bachus,... They will make billions on their investment with this lapdog...

    September 17, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. HUGO

    Any Republican that votes for a mandatory healthcare clause in any Bill will be done in 2010! Think of it Americans, MANDATORY healthcare laying people prey to unregulated insurance premiums. This is the same crap Hillary Clinton tried the first time around, it is unconstitutional and a recipe for further cost to the American people. What would this do to people that just pay as they go, is that still a choice in America?

    September 17, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. Sean Chong

    It's always amazing to see how those who came out with the proposal, no matter how faulty it is, never get praised, but those who attacked those proposal, but did nothing else, get admired.

    September 17, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. Julie

    It's about time the moderates and centrists of both parties come together and work on this project. Enough from the talking bobble-heads on both sides. It's called EVERYBODY put your ideas and proposals on the table and start the discussions. Examine the good and bad of each idea and then suggest workable alternatives. With fair and civil discussions I'm sure these educated men and women of congress can come up with a workable plan that we all can agree on. We might not get all that we wanted and we may have to concede points to each other but that's called compromise and that's how you get things done. Then you moniter and re-evaluate as the system gets set into motion and change plans as neede. Get to work people. That's what we're paying you for.

    September 17, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. Titus Miles

    This so called "compromise bill is AWFUL, it does nothing to lower costs and is a christmas present to the health insurance industries.

    September 17, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. williefloyd

    Are those "Centrists" also receiving donations from the insurance industry???

    September 17, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
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