September 29th, 2009
09:15 AM ET
5 years ago

Senate Democrats plan to force vote on public option

Democratic leaders in the House meet this week to hammer over health care reform issues.
Democratic leaders in the House meet this week to hammer over health care reform issues.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two members of the Senate Finance Committee plan to put their Democratic colleagues on the spot on Tuesday by offering amendments on whether to give uninsured Americans the opportunity to join a government insurance program.

While health care reform legislation in the House and an alternate plan in the Senate have included a so-called "public option," the Finance Committee's version, which Republicans haven't rejected completely, has not included a government-sponsored provision.

Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Chuck Schumer of New York planned to offer the amendments last week before the action was delayed.

It's not clear whether the two Democrats have the votes on the committee to get their amendments passed. But it is clear that the debate could be contentious, if last week's discussion was any indication, with Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona banging his fist on the table in an effort to be heard.

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Juge

    Go for it! I would like to see who votes against it so that I will know who I will black list.

    September 29, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Chris

    Make it mandatory that Congress accept the same health care coverage as the rest of us.

    Bet you see a lot of vote changes if that happens.

    WAKE UP AMERICA!

    September 29, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Reconsidering my 2010 Vote

    Good, it's about time. You Dems have the majority, take ownership and pass it if you want it so badly. Now you can quit blaming the Republicans for "bogging" it down.

    September 29, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. ex insurance mgr

    Public option is the only way to force change on insurance/ health care companies. And mark my words, you must FORCE them to change.

    September 29, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Amazing

    Democrats – Wake up, the Majority of Americans are opposed to your plan.............slow down and do it right. There is no hurry, since it will be 2013 before the program would start anyway............after the elections. Gotta wonder why that is, maybe because you know it is going to be a disaster.

    September 29, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Illinois 2

    Wait until they want to run for re-election next year!!!!! The voters will get the public option.

    September 29, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. diridi

    public option is a must...in health care...wake up...and pass...if you care for the nation any bit...ok...don't be stupid....writer is a very highly educated...

    September 29, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. ran

    Good. We need single payer non-profit health care in this country now.

    Our health should no longer be for profit.

    How come we just can't see this.

    People open your eyes and ears. Single payer non-profit is the only way to go. Demand it now.

    September 29, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. GI Joe

    With 60% of the people wanting the public option, I'll bet a lot of Blue Dogs and Republicans lose their seat next year. I wish they were all up for election so snake in the grassley could be voted out.

    September 29, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    Yeah, please do. I'm looking forward to seeing which Senators are either so politically dense or politically suicidal as to vote to saddle American taxpayers with yet another trillion dollar debt.

    September 29, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. rr

    Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will bankrupt this nation nicely all by themselves without a public option, thank you very much

    September 29, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Enough

    This is solely the Democrats plan, they are cramming it down our throats KNOWING we don't want it. They will solely be held responsible for the disaster it creates. If they thought it was so great, why are they waiting for 4 years for it to start?

    September 29, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. Debra R

    Pass it and lose your jobs. WE do NOT NEED this. It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    September 29, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. Mike

    Force the vote and get it passed, this way there will be a land slide in 2010 and demorats will be sent home followed by nobama in 2012. nobama is the best thing for Republicans in the upcoming elections.

    September 29, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. We need an alternative

    Certainly there is a need for an option where those that do not have the ability to get into a commercial / private health insurance plan. But there needs to be care in how its crafted and marketed. Nobody, not even most liberalized in this country want to slide down the slippery slope of socialism.

    Balancing the need to cover all of the citizens of this country against catastrophic health events, preventative care, and sucking the wealth out of a nation and its citizens is walking a fine tightrope. The leaders of this country need our support and ideas not our distain and ire to come up with a viable long term affordable solution.

    We are all in this together and together a solution needs to be found, common ground.

    September 29, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. kimberly

    GOOD! 76% of the country wants it, and they are the only ones that count! Obama needs to remeber WHO got him elected, it was those people, and NOT the idiots running around like loons with powdered wigs on, not having a CLUE what the REAL tea party was about...

    September 29, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. SLM

    FORCE – That's what the Democrats are doing FORCING this crappy plan on us, knowing we DON"T want it.

    Republicans and blue dogs – Just say NO to this disaster.

    September 29, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. JS007

    The Democrats who sell out on this issue better take all the dirty insurance money they can because they should be ready for a primary challenge.

    September 29, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. LacrosseMom

    Senators, we must have a Public Option to insure that ALL Americans have a choice and that insurance companies have competition!

    COMPETITION IS THE FOUNDATION OF CAPITALISM, WITHOUT A PUBLIC OPTION THERE IS NO COMPETITION.

    BIG PHARMA & BIG INSURANCE NEED TO KNOW THAT WE WILL MAKE THEM COMPETE FOR OUR HARD EARNED MONEY!

    September 29, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Sam Sixpack

    All the "public option" will do is divert money, currently going into the pockets of insurance execs, into the pockets of pharmaceutical execs. Unless the ENTIRE industry is nationalized, the remaining for-profit sectors will suck the maximum amount of money out of the system.

    Just how will the "public option" make a $15,000 bag of I.V. juice cost any less?

    This scam is about who gets the keep the healthcare dollars – and it won't be you.

    September 29, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Unemployed

    Kudos to Rockefeller and Schumer for stepping up and defending the American people.

    The least that we can hope for is the harsh light of day shine on those Dems who (for reasons apparent to contribution analysts) refuse to support their President. My wish for them is that they become unemployed and needful of eating money and healthcare.

    September 29, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Angie in PA

    DEMOCRATS IN SENATE

    No Public Option= No reelection you will be fired!!!!!!

    September 29, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Chas in Iowa

    Health care reform without a public option will amount to a license for the insurance companies to continue businessas usual.
    People with pre-existing conditions will be shut out of insurance by pricing so high that it cannot be afforded while they will lavish in the requirement for all to buy into there insurance programs.

    September 29, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. David

    It's great this is finally coming to a vote in this committee. We need a public option. Without it, there is nothing to force insurance companies to make their rates competitive. Those of use already paying for insurance want the public option.

    September 29, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Fair is Fair

    Schumer and Rockefeller. Go figure. Doesn't matter... public option was thrown under the bus 2 months ago – with good reason.

    September 29, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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