September 15th, 2009
04:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Gang of Six Republicans say no to Baucus bill - for now

WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has learned that – barring some unforeseen change - Democratic Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus will unveil a health care proposal Wednesday without the support of the three Republican senators - Charles Grassley, Mike Enzi and Olympia Snowe - he's been negotiating with for months.

Senate Republican sources close to Grassley and Enzi - and in the case of Olympia Snowe, the senator herself - tell CNN they still have concerns that have not been addressed that range from taxpayer funding of abortion, to illegal immigration, to affordability of the health coverage this new law would require.

GOP sources to all these senators emphasize and insist that they aren't walking away yet - they will keep talking, keep negotiating and next week when votes start in the Finance committee they will offer amendments to address their concerns.

But Wednesday, when the Senate Finance Chairman unveils his bill, all indications are he will be doing it without the support of Republicans he has spent hundreds of hours negotiating with.

Meanwhile, Baucus is facing a defection from within his own party Tuesday. "I want to make clear that in its current form I cannot put my support behind the Finance bill - it will not have my vote," West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller said Tuesday.

Rockefeller believes Baucus has abandoned too many traditionally Democratic principles to accommodate the Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Among other things, Rockefeller thinks a health care overhaul should include a public option. The Baucus plan does not, instead calling for for non profit cooperatives.

Filed under: Health care • Senate
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Jake

    "Gang" seems like the appropriate word to always preface Republican!

    September 15, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. OrlandoGuy

    Baucus should have known that at least two of the three weren't serious at all. Only Snowe may in the end actually vote for the bill.

    At least DEMS can get credit for trying to get a bipatisan bill in the Senate.

    September 15, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. anthony

    Well, anyone who is paying attention knows this is coming. Does this mean that the bill from this committee is deader than the House bill? It looks that way, doesn't it? The House bill will pass the House. This bill might not even get out of the committee. It is time to reconciliate and put the naysayers out of their misery.

    September 15, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. jeff

    We must have a public option. How can you not vote for an option that will put the health of all Americans first? The only thing any private insurance company cares about is their bottom line. Do you really want the insurance companies deciding what type of coverage you get? It's a sad when profits are more important than health.

    September 15, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Josh in TN

    Go Dems Go start walking finally. Leave them behind.

    September 15, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |

    NO ONE IN CONGRESS HAS A CLUE, they are all jokes,

    September 15, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. walleye

    After Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans, eight years ago on Friday, we went to war and spent hundreds of billions of dollars ensuring that this would not happen again. Yet every two months, that many people die because of our failure to provide universal insurance — and yet many members of Congress want us to do nothing?

    September 15, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. DonnaLee

    Senator Max has finally learned what we have known for years. And that is that the Rethuglicans have two mouths ... One on their face that they lie through, and another somewhere else that exudes the truth.

    September 15, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Proud Member..Party of No

    "illegal immigration"? Well, appears Joe Wilson was right after all but, we all knew that anyway....anytime Obama's lips are moving he's lying.

    September 15, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Julie

    Surprise, surprise, surprise!

    September 15, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  11. economist

    As usual, lots of babbling an no facts. Around 50% – 70% of American citizens support the existence of a public option in their reform package. Among medical doctors, the statistic is almost 75%. There *is* no debate; it's just the din of the loud and ignorant shouting over the majority. (Naturally, I wouldn't even know about these numbers if they hadn't been reported on NPR.)

    September 15, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Keith in Austin

    Just listen to you liberal crybabies! Stop blaming republicans for showing some fiscal restraint! YOUR Party controls The House, Senate and Presidency! Admit the fact that your party is split between the left-wing extremists and Blue Dogs LISTENING to the voices of the American people. You have burned so many bridges of trust with pork-laden deficit spending and marxist agenda that passing future healthcare legislation looks highly unlikely! The democratic party is imploding!!!

    September 15, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Albo58

    Looks like the people who would pay for the people are finally being represented properly! Health care reform IS needed, but there is no Constitutional right to FREE health care so the public option is a non-starter!

    September 15, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Chris

    The abortion thing is getting annoying. We have protections in place for victims of crimes and mothers whose lives are in danger. Why on earth would we want none of those protections in a public health option? Are poor women somehow less deserving of protection?

    September 15, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Gene

    Republicans obviously don't believe in the importance of voting...

    We voted in Obama OVERWHELMINGLY because we, the people, wanted the plans that he offered. However, Republicans don't care what the people voted for.. all they care about is who gets credit for improving our health care system. They know that if it happens while Obama is in office, then the Dems will forever look like the saviors of our country.

    I think Obama may actually be the first president I can remember who actually wants to work together with the opposite party, even though he knows that he can get this bill passed without their help.

    September 15, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    If Snowe doesn't support the bill, it must be crap.

    September 15, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Obama administration AKA "Looney Tunes"

    This country does not need Government run health care. Ever since a bunch of Thugs have take over congress and the big house everything is geared toward giving more Thugs what they need to live instead of making them work for it.

    September 15, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Steph

    Knock Me Over With A Feather...I stand corrected. 7 Republicans just voted yea in the resolution disapproving of Wilson's conduct. Good for you brave 7 Republicans!

    Sooooo, 167 Republicans think it's OK to yell at The President of The United States during a joint session of congress. Please stay away from my children, I'm trying to teach them to be respectful citizens.

    September 15, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    I'm glad to see the 3 Republican senators doing exactly what the people sent them to Washington to do. If the bill is garbage, don't support it. From what we have seen and heard so far, the bill is garbage.

    September 15, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Veronica

    The ongoing debates and surrounding uncertainties over health care reform are causing much concern among seniors about Medicare and how it will affect their benefits, especially those with Plan C Medicare Advantage. It is important to weigh these concerns with the fact that as long as seniors select a plan this year for 2010 coverage, they will not lose their plan during any time of the 2010 year, even if a health care reform bill passes. The 1997 Balanced Budget Act included a provision assuring Medicare beneficiaries a smooth and uninterrupted transition in their healthcare coverage should Congress mandate any program changes in the future. I recommend as a good resource for seniors to research the Medicare plans available in their zip code and to do a plan comparison. Things are getting very confusing out there regarding Medicare, but there are resources available to seniors to help them understand and make sense of their Medicare options.

    September 15, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    You gotta love CNN's liberal bias. "Gang of 6 Republicans." The article describes the democrats by their formal real titles. CNN headline writers seek to belittle the concerns of republicans by calling names fit for street thugs, while the libs seek to pillory and punish a member of the House for correctly calling the Hussein a liar. Liberals are h y p o c r i t e s.

    September 15, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. GOPer

    Is it not abundantly clear by now the GOPer Enzi and Grassley want "No" part of any bill? Come on.

    Sen. Baucus should take this opportunity to put forth the same bill as his conservative colleagues in the House Energy/Commerce Committee that includes a public option, perhaps as a trigger. I mean the GOPers won't even compromise on the cooperatives. Forget their obstructive nonsense.

    September 15, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. lila

    Good. It's high time the democrats figure out that the republicans will not vote for the bill because they want to keep their jobs. The republican tea bag tin foil hat fringe base has hijacked the party. there is no working with that. Obama should focus on getting the bill that will work. The democrats need to remember that in 5 years no one will remember what the fringe clowns were ranting about. Hold firm. Be the grown ups. Onward march! Historic legislation is much like Immortality. The fact that you had to hold rank and be brave makes your journey that much more of a history lesson in our future school books. Hold your head up, hold your head up, hold your head high!

    September 15, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. Steph

    Anyone who complains about BIG government should stay off the roads, keep their kids out of public school, don't call the police or fire departments if you need assistance, never visit a national park and, under no circumstances accept unemployment or Medicare!

    September 15, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Christian Values

    We gave the republicans and the conservatives a chance to do the right thing, the christian thing. But as usual, they refuse to help the american people and are opposed to a brighter future.

    It's time the party that has always looked out for america to go forth with out the republicans. Pass the legislation and let them do what they do best, cry and run from figments of their imagination.

    September 15, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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