September 29th, 2009
06:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Rockefeller 'disappointed' Obama didn't push harder for public option

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Jay Rockefeller told CNN on Tuesday that he's "disappointed" that President Obama wasn't more forceful in pushing the Senate to include a public option in its health care bill.

"A little bit, a little bit I'm disappointed," the West Virginia Democrat told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I know he's strongly for it, and I know his tactic has been to let the Congress do his work and then he'll come in when the crunch really counts. What I'm saying is that the crunch is really beginning to count now, and I think he's - I know he's for it, and said so publicly, and campaigned on it, so I think it's important that he come in at this point strongly."

The Senate Finance Committee rejected amendments on Monday, proposed by Rockefeller and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, that called for a new government-run health insurance option.

But Rockefeller stopped short of saying that he wouldn't support a bill that failed to include the provision, and pointed out that proposals passed by the House and other Senate committees include a public insurance option.


"Let's wait on that. I care very strongly about it obviously," Rockefeller said. "...There's all kinds of things that happen between now and ...the point at which I'll either vote yes or no."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Kelsey

    Obama take a stand on something? Sure, like that would happen. Obama is the ultimate compromiser. He'll compromise until there is nothing left. Just like he's doing in the health care reform legislation.

    September 29, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. S Callahan

    Does this mean there will be an emergency membership club meeting tonight? Just curious.

    September 29, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. howie

    When are the liberal democrats going to understand that American DOES NOT want the public option. These guys are really hard headed.

    September 29, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Get used to disappointment, there's more to come.

    September 29, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. jinxie

    Good Luck with that, Jay.
    You're being played. Just like the rest of us.

    September 29, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    My guess is that Obama has taken such a beating in public opinion recently that he knows that coming on strong now demanding a Public Option would be just what the Republicans need. As if they haven't already got enough prime ammunition to make some great campaigns in 2010 and 2012 already. Just, why add more?

    September 29, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. American Citizen

    Hey he's to busy trying to get the olympics for they windy city.

    September 29, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. Chandler

    I'm disappointed in the 3 democrats that voted against the public option in committee. I am also disappointed that they make SO MUCH MONEY from Blue Cross! Baucus gets more from them than all of his constituents combined!

    September 29, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Dyan, Minnesota

    Yeah.......... I'm a little disappointed too.

    September 29, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  10. Screw the Insurance companies

    Everyone should deposit the money that they dole out to insurance companies every month in their personal bank accounts. Then when and if the need arises you have enough to pay a doctor if you are sick. If not the moneys still yours. How simple is that? Who needs to send hefty checks to insurance companies? That will teach the insurance
    companies to stop ripping off the public. They do it because we LET them. That's been my theory for 50 years. The only one who has gotten rich off of my money is ME.

    September 29, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  11. JOBLESS IN IOWA

    Obama is pushing the Olympics instead of JOBS.

    Obama LIES ABOUT JOBS.

    Obama is just another one taking a free ride on the tax payers money.

    Obama LIES.

    September 29, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. OUTSPOKEN

    You have got to be kidding me right???? Hell, Obama did everything he could, its you weak DEMOCRAPS that should foot the blame. Grow a pair then speak.

    September 29, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  13. No Hillary = No Obama

    Anyone who has to wait until he has two other "world leaders" walking behind him on an international stage before he announces something he has known for a long time – that Iraq is up to no good, has always been up to no good and will continue to be up to no good is a very weak leader. It's time to realize that Obama should have never been elected President – he does not have what it takes, including experience.

    September 29, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. Duck Fallas

    God bless you, Senator. You were doing Christ's work, too bad the Christless republicans thwarted your humanitarian efforts.

    Shame on them.

    September 29, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  15. Barbara

    Fear not my American friends... I have a firm belief that a health bill WITH A PUBLIC OPTION will be the one that get's through for you. This early vote will highlight, with bright yellow marker, those, particularly Democrats, who are holding it back. I'm sure people will give them a resonating earful – loud enough to change minds

    September 29, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. Kansas Hawk

    I want a public option, I am a health care provider over 50 and most of my colleagues want a public option. Look at the polls, a majority of Americans want a public option. The latest Robert Wood Johnson poll shows more than two thirds of doctors want a public option. Insurance companies do not want a public option and they are paying our elected officials to ignor the will of the people. Keep fighting Rockefeller, America needs you. I have called my Senator Roberts office, they are rude if you don't agree with him. Several fellow health care providers have also called but Roberts is not listening to Kansans so speak up for us Rockefeller.

    September 29, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  17. Barbara

    Can anyone explain why the Iraqi Constitution July 2005, DRAFTED WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, contains Article 31 – UNIVERSAL GOVERNMENT FUNDED HEALTH CARE FOR ALL IRAQIS – AS A RIGHT??? Why then wouldn't that benefit be offered to Americans?

    September 29, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. chenna_benna

    Why not add to the bill a test public option that can be tried out in a few states first. If people in other states want their state to join the program, then they can vote in the next election on whether they want it or not.

    September 29, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. They call me "tater salad"

    Thats because Obama is a Democrat, and Democrats are famous for being easily bullied into things! Having a backbone is not something their known for! Why don't you tell the American people something that we don't know and haven't known for quite some time now! This is not news!!

    September 29, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  20. Lisa

    Please pass the bill with the public option!!! Republicans would rather pay for a war based on a lie rather than save someone's life.

    September 29, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  21. fat man

    Obama is a little tied up with the Chicago Olympic bid; you know, his trip with the wife and Oprah. To help his pals in Chicago.

    Obama figured if he gets a second term the Olympics in Chicago would be his crowning achievement.

    Why worry about Afganistan?

    Why worry about healthcare, double digit unemployment, Iranian missles and nukes.

    September 29, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  22. T'SAH from Virginia

    President Obama is going to pass this bill WITH a PUBLIC OPTION!!! He should realize that the far-right LOONEY TOONS are not going to agree with anything he tries to pass. So Mr. President, make the PUBLIC OPTION be the only OPTION and leave those cartoon characters behind!!!

    September 29, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  23. "change has come to america"

    Nobody is commenting????????

    September 29, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  24. Not waiting to beg for Insurance pay out

    Some of us may have voted for Obama

    but we are not waiting tfor the President to get this change going.

    We the People are taking it back from the Insurance Billionaires

    Health Care Reform NOW

    Strong Public Option NOW

    America is tired of living in Medieva Fiefdoms, America seeks a Future.

    September 29, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  25. m smith

    we need the public option.

    September 29, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
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