September 30th, 2009
03:09 PM ET
5 years ago

Public option: 'Nothing is ever dead on Capitol Hill'

Sen. Max Baucus says he likes the idea of a public option, but he doesn't think he can get the votes with it.
Sen. Max Baucus says he likes the idea of a public option, but he doesn't think he can get the votes with it.

(CNN) - As lawmakers huddled this summer to put together the framework for health care legislation, it quickly became evident that the battle over President Obama's top priority would be neither quick nor easy.

After months of debate and missed deadlines, the public option has emerged as the main sticking point.

From the beginning, some Democrats said they wouldn't pass a bill without a government-sponsored, public option, while other Democrats and most Republicans said they'd say no to any plan that included one.

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Filed under: Capitol Hill • Health care • President Obama
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Amazing

    Give it up already............we don't want it.

    September 30, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Jackie in Dallas

    Which means that they are paying less attention to their constituents that voted for them than they are to the ones lining their re-election coffers...

    We'll remember this come next election!

    September 30, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Scott, Tucson

    Baucus won't get the public option but his admendment to fine and jail Americans who wish not to enroll would surely get through.

    September 30, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. CTW

    I know you like your position as a politician, but without a public option, we can't guarantee you we can give you the votes to retain that position. PASS A PUBLIC OPTION NOW you spineless Democrats! Or just get on with your sell out!

    September 30, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Good bye Max, your career is through!

    September 30, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. rr

    There is no way the taxpayers can pay for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security AND a public option. The first three of those is already projected to bankrupt us.

    September 30, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. Tommy

    The public option is indeed dead. I think one thing has become crystal clear watching this debate play out: our elected lawmakers actually work for the special interests and lobbyists in D.C., not for the people that elected them.

    The healthcare "debate" is actually a game all of us are unwittingly playing. The only ones who know its a game are, of course, our congressman; the health care lobbies; and the TV media outlets, chief among them are Fox and CNN. If anyone ever questions whether or not the media has anything to do with this, they'll get an answer by simply watching an hour of CNN – 25 minutes of actual "news" (this is CNN, after all), and 35 minutes of commercials by pharmacies, banks, and insurance companies. In fact, I'm willing to bet that Dobbs owns stock in United Health.

    So, time to move on and pay attention to other important matters. This duck is dead.

    September 30, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Now that everybody hates public option, let's pay heed to private
    option(s) and other fatuously feeble and foul-smelling feed-backs from the ferocious fellows of the GOP and its riotous right wingers.

    September 30, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Randolph Carter

    Funny how the public option would pass in the house, where representation is apportioned relative to population size, while it would not pass in the senate where states with relatively small populations have equal representation with states having larger populations. This tells me that the majority of Americans (the real Americans?) want a public option and that we are once again being held back by the, how shall I put this politely, less than progressive minority and their well-funded representatives. Have a nice day!

    September 30, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. greg hill

    No bill without a public option should even be discussed. Don't worry whether Republicans will vote it down. Let them. Bring it right back and make them vote again and again. Show the country that the Republicans are a party that needs to be voted out completely because they don't care about citizens, only corporations.

    September 30, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Angie in PA

    Well Mad Max stay out of the Insurance Lobbyist Money and pass the bill with or without Republicans WITH A PUBLIC OPTION OR YOU DEMOCRATS THAT OPPOSE THE PUBLIC OPTION WILL BE LOOKING FOR NEW JOBS!

    September 30, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. Open Your 3rd Eye

    Attention Republicans:

    I have 3 predictions to make and I want you to remember my name.

    1. Healthcare reform will pass with a public option included whether you like it or not. Most likely it will be forced through the senate (democrat only).

    2. The elections in 2010 will be another sad day for your party. You all are oblivious to the fact you look like a bunch of sore loser racists (whether you are racist or not) who do nothing but whine. Also, you can not win 2010 without the youth vote and minority vote. We both know you don't stand a chance on that one.

    3. You have forgotten about the Presidents massive grassroots army. Do you think we have all simply vanished? Just wait until the call is made and we are re-activated.

    Boy are you in for a surprise :)

    September 30, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. PEACE ON EARTH

    MOST Americans WOULD VOTE FOR IT!

    September 30, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Enough

    Let it die. Time to admit defeat and move on to a plan that actually helps us. Work on health insurance companies by making sure it is affordable and available for all who want it, to purchase it. Allow insurance companies across state lines.

    September 30, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. J.P.

    "Public option: 'Nothing is ever dead on Capitol Hill'"

    Eh, it will be when you are relegated back to minority status in 2010.

    First order of new business for the new congress in 2011:
    Constitutional Amendment for Congressional TERM LIMITS!

    September 30, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Lila

    Don't call it reform unless there's a public option in it. Every US citizen should have access to healthcare.

    September 30, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Mark L.

    Rep. Alan Grayson said it BEST – Leave it up to the GOP and the conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrats and just "DIE QUICKLY..."

    And as for those of us that DO WANT HEALTHCARE REFORM LEGISLATION to Pass NOW, with the appropriate Public Option in tact, well, as we say in my old native hometown of Brooklyn, NY – FUGHETABOUDIT !!!!

    September 30, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. wait a minute

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

    Many in D.C. also thought Obama couldn't have been elected last year.
    No public option = No health care reform.

    September 30, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Lori in St Pete

    Uh oh, somebody must have gotten an inbox full of angry constituent emails offering Maxie a one way ticket home next election cycle!

    September 30, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. Peter

    mmh !! he is thinking what is morally right taking insurance money or supporting the public? I will say go for political donations!!

    September 30, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    65% of American want a robust public option as part of the health care reform bill. Why?

    – Because they want to do the right thing and provide health care for themselves and their families.

    – They want to keep their house and life savings – and not file for bankruptcy – should they be faced with unexpected medical bills.

    – They want to have the freedom to keep their current health insurance or choose another plan that may be a better fit and/or more affordable.

    – They want access to affordable preventive care so that they remain productive and contributing members of society longer.

    – They want to see their medical dollars spent on providing care and compensating the medical care providers, and not go to the over-inflated salaries of insurance company CEOs.

    – They just want a fair shake.

    September 30, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. special kay

    You're just helping to kill it

    September 30, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. Centrist

    If Sen. Baucus likes the idea of a public option, he should exert the right kind of leadership to get it passed for the 65% majority of Americans who support the public option.

    Sen. Snowe said she would support a trigger for the public option which seems to be a reasonable compromise for the legislation.

    Let's get it passed for our country.

    September 30, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Frankly...Max Baucus is simply showing himself to be what he is...EITHER a coward OR a liar. Not standing up for something you believe in makes you a COWARD. Voting against something you publicly say you actually support makes you a LIAR. Pick your poison, Senator Baucus.

    September 30, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Dar

    Why can't we just fix medicare so people that cant afford insurance can opt into the state run medical plan. Since we already have an insurance plan for the out of work people, so why cant we revise this to include familys that cant afford insurance on their own. It wouldn't take much of an tax increase to pay for this state by state. Screw the big goverment, you dont want their fingers in this people. We will pay 10 times fold to the goverment than what we would pay to your state to run this new program. Why does life have to be so hard.
    God Bless All

    September 30, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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