July 29th, 2009
01:28 PM ET
13 years ago

Top Dem aide: 'Significant policy issues' could still derail deal

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/29/art.baucus0729.gi.jpg caption=" Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is spearheading bipartisan health care reform negotiations in the Senate."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has obtained an e-mail from a top aide of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus – a message that aims to debunk a Washington Post headline that negotiators are close to a deal.

The authenticity of the e-mail, sent to top aides to senators on the Finance Committee and obtained by CNN from a GOP source, was confirmed by a Baucus aide.

"While progress has been made in recent days, neither an accord nor an announcement is imminent," wrote Russ Sullivan, Democratic staff director for the committee. "In fact, significant policy issues remain to be discussed among the Members, and any one of these issues could preclude bipartisan agreement."

While several senators have been more upbeat about the negotiators' progress over the last 24 hours, there is also concern about managing expectations, and about backlash from senators left out of negotiations who have not been briefed on all the details of the talks.

Still, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley told National Public Radio Wednesday morning they are "on the edge" of a deal this week.

(Read the full text of the e-mail after the jump)

Full text of the e-mail:

From: Sullivan, Russ (Finance-Dem)
Sent: Wed Jul 29 08:19:05 2009
Subject: Clarification To Post Story

Today's Post article (A1- " Senators Close to Health Accord") makes it appear that a bipartisan deal is imminent. While progress has been made in recent days, neither an accord nor an announcement is imminent. In fact, significant policy issues remain to be discussed among the Members, and any one of these issues could preclude bipartisan agreement. Members will continue their methodical work. If you have questions, please call and we will give you more information. We do not want your boss to have a misimpression based on an inaccurate headline.

Filed under: Health care • Senate
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Parkett Lovelace

    Just think, you democrats, do you really want republicans deciding on whether or not you will receive health care or surgery to live/die? You realize republicans will be in power again before you know it...

    July 29, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Scott, Tucson

    If this passes I can you should kiss your grandparents good bye if they're in dire need of medical care...Obama would give them a pain pill and say have a nice day.

    July 29, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Zero.

    They go Bankrupt because more, and more of your expected investments don't materialise. They went East to Europe. Anwhere that Obama cant get his hands on them..

    July 29, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. Julia Byrd- Hayden Idaho

    Since we voted for these idiotic blue dog dems,(actually republicans in REALITY. And since the democrats seem to be kissin' up to the rotten repubs, I think a new party is in order. The WORKERS PARTY USA.

    July 29, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. CF

    If this doesn't pass, I will be more than glad to forward my medical bills to my Republican representative for killing it. This plan is my only chance at being able to afford a doctor or insurance, and if the Repubs are going to deny me that, it becomes their repsonsibility to fill the void as far as I'm concerned.

    July 29, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Lynne

    America has the 4th highest GNP yet is 92nd in distribution of wealth which is the highest wage disparity in ALL developed countries.

    However, the richest 5% of Americans live the best of all nations. (Gini poll)

    Why is the Repblicans so concerned with protecting this 5%?

    July 29, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Susan - Canada


    I'm a Canadian and our health care is free...maybe prescription drugs cost us....unless you're on a health plan with your employer or a senior citizen. I have never paid for a doctor's visit or any tests I may have required and I don't know of anyone personally who had to wait months and months for life saving tests. But, I personally know of a woman who had breast cancer and one who had ovarian cancer and both were operated on quickly and their lives were saved. The daughter of one of them always said "our Canadian health system saved her mother".

    There is nothing wrong with your government providing health care for its citizens. You all should be so lucky. I can't fathom having to pay for a doctor's visit....it just doesn't seem right. Oh....and also, we can choose our own doctor, our government does not dictate that to us.

    Americans should try it....it's a great system!

    July 29, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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