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. Pam

    So much for reform.

    September 29, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Kelby In Houston, Texas

    There was legislation to bail out the homeowners, you voted against that because of the bank lobby
    There was legislation to ease credit problems for consumers. That bill was watered down and there is the crap we have now.
    You voted down the public option. We are going to vote you out and replace you with somebody that will vote for a public option.

    September 29, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. KATHLEEN

    Folks, THE 2010 Election is AS IMPORTANT as the 2012 for President!

    The Republicans are "counting on winning" more seats, and
    some want to impeach Obama.!!!! Nasty talk from the Republicans.

    There will never be another President that will fight for the Middle
    Class than Obama. This is it!!!!

    Vote 2010. Like that is now. Some of the elections are months away.
    Democrats must vote..............................................!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. S Callahan

    It's all in the economics.....but fear not....the day is coming when there will be no illness left to be healed....no sickness of any kind. Look upward....

    September 29, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Sadly, Baucus isn't even giving the opportunity for "real reform" to take place. It is Baucus, not the public option, that is preventing real health care reform this year.

    September 29, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. joe

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

    And what is the meaningful reform you're talking about? Without a public option, this bill simply makes matters worse by requiring that all citizens have health care, which will continue to be provided by the parasitic oligopoly that currently bilks and robs the American public. Shame on all of the Senators that oppose a much needed alternative to a horribly corrupt and broken healthcare system.

    September 29, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Jon-In-CA

    Obamacare is D.O.A.

    September 29, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Vets4Obama

    We need to vote out of office the FIVE democrats that voted it down. We have atleast their names. We must ONLY vote for politicians that will vote for a public option.

    Baucus is in the back pocket of private insurance companies. Look at his contributions. It's a fact, he's bought and paid for, and will not support the american people, only his corporate masters.

    September 29, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    This is beginning to look like someone in the US Senate is listening to what Americans are saying. I am encouraged.

    September 29, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Barbara Independent in NY

    Baucus and the other Democrats should not be re-elected. They get the best medical care on our dime, but they are dening the rest of the American people good health care.

    September 29, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Sam Sixpack

    Without the "public" option, however will those entrenched congressional cronies funnel all that promised pork to their pharmaceutical industry masters without the pesky insurance companies crying foul?

    September 29, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Sharon Northern Virginia

    What can one say...I guess some Dems are joining the party of NO. God help us all. Especially those who need healthcare. I hope I never have to feel what Americans with no healthcare feel right now.

    September 29, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    So now I suppose we will see Obama saying that he never wanted the public option, and he wanted it to take this long, and he never wanted to reach across the aisle.

    However it turns out, he will claim it happened JUST as he wanted.

    Right.

    September 29, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Caesar the Great

    The Dems finally listen to the people and see that something is better than nothing. Could this truly be the sign of debate and comprimise?!?!?

    September 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Diana NJ

    Sure glad we had a Democrat heading this.. They all make me sick

    September 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Truth Teller

    Baucus, I can see your yelloe streak from here. Why don't you just switch parties now? You are one of them, not one of us.

    September 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. Andrew

    Vote these guys out, they are bought and payed for by the insurance companies. Mandatory health care without the public option is just a handout to private insurance. Dispicable.

    September 29, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. jules sand-perkins

    Very good news!

    September 29, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Mark

    I love it! Now we have a track record for Rockefeller & Schumer with which to nail them come re-election day. These guys think the electorate is stupid with a 10-minute memory. Not always true my friends. Remember what happened to Jimmy Carter? The people do remember when their Representative’s performance is as abysmal as these two.

    September 29, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Buster

    GOOD to vote down the liberal way. The supporters of the public option are clueless to want more government control of our lives.

    September 29, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. hockey dad

    Baucus is a disgrace,.. i hope the good folks of Montana give him the boot, ... the other four democrats that voted against shoud also be voted out of office. I hope President Obama rams the bill through, with the public option, and publicly calls out the five corrupt Democrat Senators..

    September 29, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. BushBahenchod@workagain tocreate another trillion deficit

    You know what MOST of the mourons in Wall St who are pumping up the HealthCare company stocks don't get??

    Public Option OR Not – these insurance companies Cigna, Wellpoint, United etc etc – their earnings ARE skrewed up for a while with this reform – just a Public Option or not does NOT change it... although it could minimize to a lill extent the damage!!

    September 29, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. M.D. For Reform

    These are the five Democrats who voted against the public option and are thus only wearing democratic costumes in preparation for halloween:

    Baucus
    Thomas R. Carper of Delaware
    Kent Conrad of North Dakota
    Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas
    Bill Nelson of Florida

    We need TRUE democrats elected that will do right by america, and not sell out our future to their corporate masters:

    September 29, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Matt, Manchester, CT

    The absolute best comment from these meetings had to come from Senator Rockefeller who decried the "banditry" of the insurance industry. A beneficiary of the Standard Oil empire actually wants to cast stones against the practices of another industry? This guy is pure hypocrisy.

    September 29, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. R.B.

    Bargaining away meaningful reform isn't meaningful reform. The hypocrisy of it all. And at what cost to this great country. Elected senators, congressmen, officials, particularly GOP nay-sayers, holding public office and embodying and representing the "goverment"- claiming they mistrust the "government" and public options like Medicare because they are scared of themselves and their ineptiude and call that "socialism." Then you have your DINOs "Democrats In Name Only" who place value on weak bipartisan posturing that doesn't win any GOP votes and doesn't deliver the intended results to fix the appaling status quo: 39th place in the world for quality of health care?? We can do better.

    September 29, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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