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. zvo24

    I'm disappointed to see one of the few republicans I respect, Olympia Snowe, standing in the way of Baucus' proposal over things that are really just details and can be worked out in committee.

    She is usually much more open to finding common ground.

    I can only surmise that the GOP is putting pressure on her – perhaps by threatening to support competitors for her seat – if she doesn't fall in line and start goosestepping to their drumbeat.

    Wake up, Olympia! It's country BEFORE party! The GOP will stop at nothing to convince you that it's the other way around.

    September 15, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Lisa P

    Good - now maybe the Democrats can give us the bill that we voted them in to give us rather than the fake reform bill the Republicans keep trying to bully them into. Clearly there is no working with Republicans. America deserves better than sick, broke and uneducated.

    September 15, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Florida Joe

    We need to forget the Repubs....they have nothing to offer except objections....Time to move forward without them....they were never coming along anyway.............their only motivation is to stop Obama........They are just a waste of skin!!

    September 15, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Mario, mtl, ca.

    No more gops ... over

    September 15, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. S Callahana NYS

    well yah! Some tickering of the wording of the bill IS necessary..such as no exception with federal funds (per President Obama's promised statement that no federal money would be used for abotions); and no non USA citizen is eligible for national health care and it's subsidy's; and in addition some type of scale plan needs to be established based on the income range people, especially when you consider there will be a fine for failure to purchase.
    Simplify it.....go co ops!

    September 15, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. Rob

    Geez Louise...more comments from you Dems talking about "Rethuglicans", etc....for the love of Pete give it a rest and TRY thinking like an adult. This is not about Republicans, although we ARE willing to work with just don't want to budge on your own. And your unwillingness to budge is demonstrated by the fact that you have major divisions WITHIN YOUR OWN PARTY!

    By the way, the country did NOT vote for a public option, and Obama won with a BARE majority of the popular vote...almost half of those voting did NOT vote for him. So please shut it with regard to "this is what the country voted for"...because it's simply NOT. It's a great bill for those who don't want to work, and it continues and increases the "entitlement attitude" of people. That's it.

    We CAN have reform, but let's start with what we have in common...which is a lot. The problem is you Dems are unwilling to go against YOUR lobbies, such as the lawyers and tort reform. If there is anything that Dems are good at, it's self-righteous hypocrisy.

    So much for Obama the Uniter...

    September 15, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Edward Veidt

    The Party of No strikes again!

    September 15, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. They call me "Tater Salad"

    Wow! Republicans saying no to something a Democrat proposes? Get out! Why, thats impossible, who in their right mind would ever believe such a thing?( end sarcasm )

    September 15, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. whatever

    This mess will go on forever, and when they actualy get a bill, what will everyone fight about then, why it is not free for the free loaders in this country.

    September 15, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Dave

    Dems have shown they are willing to listen and compromise. Republicans have NEVER EVER had any intention of compromising in good faith. Obama and Congress has attempted to meet them half way. They have declined. Now let us proceed with a strong public option and move ahead without them as they have proven to be obstructionists only intent on delaying and defeating any meaningful change. GO FOR IT NOW and leave them behind! The country will agree with your bold move and will benefit from it.

    September 15, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. John Adams

    Rob, you are so right. Obama just barely got elected with thin magin of votes. He was not elected with the overwhelming landslide that President Bush beat Al Gore with in 2000. That was a good old Texas whupping. I, too resent being called Rethuglican. The fact that we go around the country behaving in a boisterous manner and disrupting town hall meetings does not make us thugs. We are simply behaving like thugs but we are not.

    We are trying to be bipartisan about healthcare but Obama is not. Does he not know that the bipartisan way is the Republican way. A bipartisan bill must have only Republican ideas. No Democratic ideas will be tolerated in a bipartisan bill.

    September 15, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. Proud Member..Party of No

    Forty-five percent (45%) of all voters nationwide now favor the plan while 52% are opposed.

    September 15, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. LacrosseMom

    The GOP has a long history of being against programs that help Americans:

    Social Security – socialist
    Medicare – communist
    Medicaid – ditto
    SCHIP – Bush vetoed a Bill that would have insured 7 million American children; President Obama signed it into law. So much for being pro-life!
    Unemployment Benefits
    Minimum Wage
    Civil Rights Act
    The Voting Rights Act

    Is anyone surprise about how nasty and vile the GOP's fight against Healthcare is?

    September 15, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. Chris

    I think it's telling that so many think that healthcare reform supporters are wanting a handout. It really never occurs to these people that most of us fall in the same 80% that has insurance that you do. We just look at the families in the remaining 20% with compassion.

    September 15, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. jules sand-perkins

    It is good to know that not only Republicans but also many thinking Democrats in Congress can not support Obama's concept of health-care reform.
    The funding of abortions under socialized medicine is not the problem, abortions being a far preferable option to supporting the children of unprepared mothers, and the mothers themselves, on welfare for life.
    The real problem is the immoral burden on productive Americans, through taxation, to provide subsidized (free) or too-cheap health-care insurance to citizens who do not contribute enough to society to buy their own insurance with what they earn–if they earn anything.
    The productive in this country have said no.

    September 15, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. Steve Illinois

    Good! The Democrats don't need the Republicans to pass a health reform bill. If they are so convinced this is such a great bill, then pass it all by yourselves! better be good, it better work, and it better be deficit neutral. This baby will make ya, or break ya!

    September 15, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. AJ

    While Olympia Snow trys to portray herself as a moderate, she is really just a republican lapdog that couldn't care less about the lives of her constituents. How about we take the hag off the Senate benifits tit and make her pay the exorbidant cost of healthcare out of her own pocket. While she can surley pay for it after raping the pockets of the American taxpayer for years, she won't be happy about it.

    September 15, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. JAY

    Remember the President is a POLITICIAN, and what do they do best.

    September 15, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. obama the liar

    liberals lie...wait that's old news.

    September 15, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. Steve in Denver

    Republicans say to vote "no?" What a shocker!

    As usual, no solutions, just make sure Obama doesn't succeed. It would be good for the country, but bad for the republicans.

    What was that McCain said during the campaign? Country first?

    September 15, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. suzyku

    Forget the republicans, forget bauccus!

    September 15, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  22. Steve in Denver

    Dems: Depending on the poll, between 60% and 75% of the population favor reform with either single payor or a public option. You won in november by a significant margin. Go GET IT DONE!

    Get a good bill through and win even bigger in 2010 and 2012. Don't get it done, let the losing party derail everything, and you'll be out in the next few elections. See: Election of 1994.

    September 15, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. nh

    - businesses cancel plans because they can't afford them and people file bankrupcy because they got sick -

    And this reform will stop businesses from canceling their plans, how???
    If anything this will increase the # of businesses canceling plans! And
    who do you think will be there to treat the patients? The number of patients per general practitioners is already on the increase, this reform will solve that how???

    This reform is political from both sides and none are looking at the problem objectively.


    September 15, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. Dyan, Minnesota

    Anyone of us could have predicted this result.

    September 15, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. Jim

    Since the Republicans weren't negotiating in good faith, why don't we add the public option back in the bill? I don't see what else will drive the cost of insurance down. Let's put it this way: we spend $2.5 trillino for health care. Half of it is already government run. The other half is private insurance. They are taking 30% of $1.2 trillion for profits. Why don't we get rid of them and keep the $400 billion and use it some other way?

    September 15, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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