September 29th, 2009
03:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate panel votes down public option proposal

Sen. Baucus was among the five Democrats who voted against adding a public option to the health care bill.
Sen. Baucus was among the five Democrats who voted against adding a public option to the health care bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday rejected an amendment to include a government-run public health insurance option in the only compromise health care bill so far.

The amendment by Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia fell by a 15-8 vote, with committee chairman Sen. Max Baucus of Montana and four other Democrats joining all 10 Republicans in opposing the measure.

The other Democrats voting against the public option amendment were Sens. Blanch Lincoln of Arkansas, Bill Nelson of Florida, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Tom Carper of Delaware.

It was one of two amendments for a public option proposed by Democrats, and the committee immediately began debate on the second amendment proposed by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York.

Baucus explained he liked much about the idea of a public option, but he knew a health care bill containing the provision would fail to win enough support in the full Senate to overcome a Republican filibuster.

"I fear if this provision is in the bill, it will hold back meaningful reform this year," Baucus said.

UPDATE: The Schumer amendment on the public option also failed. It drew the support of 10 Democrats, including Carper and Nelson. Baucus, Conrad and Lincoln joined the GOP vote against it.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Reagan was wrong

    Of course Max Baucus is going to oppose anything that hurts the profits of his overlords, the insurance companies.

    September 29, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. dk

    For those who opposed the public option in this committee vote, we now know who to contact and express our support for the public option.

    September 29, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Michael

    I meant the Democrats who voted AGAINST the public option need to be voted out of office.

    September 29, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Hugo

    Just wait till the Healthcare for illegals amendment hits and you think the public option won't die! Democrats pandering for votes already, what will they do now without ACORN funneling our tax dollars for their voter registration and campaign funds?

    September 29, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "I fear if this provision is in the bill, it will hold back meaningful reform this year," Baucus said.

    And that, "my friends," is what is called circular logic, because WITHOUT A PUBLIC OPTION IN THE BILL, IT IS NOT MEANINGFUL REFORM. This is what the GOP has been fighting for from the get-go: a stillborn reform effort that they can later claim was a giant failure. It will be a failure if there is no public option...I guarantee it. But you you see, at the point where it matters most, when Baucus' dead fetus of a bill has failed and we're all in the gutter because health care costs have gone to the moon, it will be too late....and at that point, nobody will consider a public option because they'll be afraid of any more reform that might fail. I hope everyone enjoys their indentured servitude to the insurance giants....it's what's coming next.

    September 29, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Sgt. USMC

    Like President Obama said, it's a small part of the bill. The important thing is that we reform and take back health care from those money hungry people.

    September 29, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Margot

    Max Baucus is a coward.

    September 29, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. chuck

    Never is always a good time for Republicans and Democrats. Just ask the millions of gay citizens of this country, the millions of citizens without health insurance, the millions of immigrant families in immigration limbo hell, the millions in favor of stricter banking regulations, the millions wanting sex education in schools and the millions of doctors begging for tort reform. You see, the list can really go on and on and on...

    September 29, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Simmy

    I hope voters in the states where 'Naysayers' live are taking notes....The Democratic party has no place for Blue Dogs....They should rename themselves the Poodle Party because they are all bark and no bite.....Even Joe the Plumber had the guts to vocalize and stick to his convictions (Until he couldn't take the Repubs anymore and left) Choose ye this day, Blue Dogs.....Whom will you serve, Republicans or Democrats?

    September 29, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. victim of republican greed

    Only in America can a billionaire from Australia control media that 40% view each day. The scary parts are that he is fond of China and their record on human rights, and he was a big Bushie.

    September 29, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Truth time

    BAUCUS YOU MOUTH-PIECE!

    There IS NO MEANINGFUL REFORM WITHOUT A STRONG PUBLIC OPTION!

    FIRE BAUCUS THE INSURANCE WATER CARRIER, SCRAP THE BILL.

    Your gettin screwed America......and Uncle insurance is still gonna make you beg for Grandma's Chemo Money.

    Strong Public Option Now.......anything else is a JOKE.

    or Fire each and every one of them, get their names and vote these Insurance pawns OUT....VOTE BAUCUS OUT and VOTE HIS ILK OUT.

    Strong Public Option NOW

    September 29, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Rita

    The answer is no – with a smile of course!

    September 29, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. jinxie

    MAX!
    Without the public option there is no reform! Period.

    September 29, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. mjm

    Thank god they finally got the message.

    The public option was the worst idea I've ever heard of.

    1300 insurance companies and somehow one more would create competition? Go sell crazy elsewhere.

    Then they were going to raise taxes on health insurance companies like BCBS in order to pay for the public option. Now THAT would be fair! Tax your competition in order to fund your plan.

    All this so GM can dump their employees into tax payer funded insurance.

    Now, come up with real reform like private co-ops for small businesses

    September 29, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. J

    On what side are you Mr. Baucus? All those dmocrats who voted no are to be fired!

    September 29, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Robin

    Sen. Baucus you will be re-elected.

    Health Care Insurance Reform, Yes.

    Public Option, No.

    September 29, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Voted4HealthCare

    The names of the Dems that sided with the insurance companies should be posted.

    Max Baucus, Kent Conrad, and Blanche Lincoln have always been in the back pocket of greedy insurance.

    I am surprised and disappointed in Sen. Carper from Deleware.

    And Sen. Bill Nelson can forget any more support from this voter's family in FL.

    Shame on them all.

    September 29, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    I see, so the Baucus "reasoning" is "I'd rather pass complete garbage than pass nothing"? Good thinking retard. I guess he thinks an ineffective and, ultimately, dangerous bill that might do more damage than good as a direct result of that lack of efficacy is better than no bill at all.

    I promise you this Baucus: you may think you're making a name for yourself with this absolute crap, but in 10 years when health care costs have gone the route that all economists are predicting, with massive inflation ruining everyone's lives, etc., despite your spinelss bill getting passed, the only name you're going to have is Mud. We will hate you for this.

    September 29, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. DJ

    Lame...they should investigate all the Senators who voted no and see how much money they got from the lobbyists. Baucus is a tool with no backbone.

    September 29, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    I hope Montana gets rid of Baucus – he is NOT for US citizens. He must have sold out to the Insurance Companys' money.

    September 29, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. bern

    Max Baucus and the others who voted against the public option are bought and paid for by big insurance. That is the truth and everyone on the Hill knows it. What a sad excuse for leadership.

    September 29, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. PC

    without the public option you might as well give it up and let the republicans gloat that they won. what a shame it is to have the democrats in power and yet the republicans are running the show. why can't the dems step up to the plate an do the job they were elected to do!!! we are out here mr. president supporting you so now YOU DO THE SAME FOR US!!!

    September 29, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. CTW

    The bigger fear Mr. Baucus is if this provision is not in the bill the Democrats will face a filibuster by the American people in 2010!!

    September 29, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Frisky

    A sad day for the working poor and the middle class.

    September 29, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. obummer, 1 and done

    Yes, there are some smart people in congress!!!!

    If we get pelosi and reid out and put in , pretty much anyone, that too would increase the general intellect of congress.

    September 29, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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