September 29th, 2009
03:12 PM ET
12 years ago

Senate panel votes down public option proposal

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. I guess Obama is Cool

    Wow! I guess that's that!

    September 29, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Dana

    I say we get those Democrats names- and start working on them hard- this is unacceptable- and we are going to lose alot of seats in 2010 if these people dont get on the ball!! Something like 65% of Americans support a public option- who are they representing if not the majority of their constituents?? This is very dissapointing and this is just the beginning!

    September 29, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. Kfonte

    Maybe the politicians are finally listening to us Americans!!!!! Now, lets see who keeps their job on the next election!

    September 29, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Martin Townsend

    So we the reset of the people are not able to CHOOSE the OPTION of PAYING for a public plan like those republican senators and five senators currently enjoy.

    September 29, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Angie in PA

    Well Mad Max gave a big win to the Insurance compaines all that lobbying and money thrown to him payed off! CNN PLEASE LIST THE OTHER DEMOCRATS THAT VOTED NO So they can start looking for new Jobs and to the People of Montana VOTE THAT BUM BAUCUS OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. rr

    Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will bankrupt this nation easily enough without adding another massive, reform-proof taxpayer entitlement to them!

    If you want to bring down prices and increase competition, allow people to buy insurance across state lines.

    September 29, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Tissues... get your tissues here, demmies...

    September 29, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. JJ in Chula Vista, CA

    It's pretty obvious what needs to happen next....When there's another "teaparty", there needs to be counter-demonstration in support of the truth, that Americans support health care reform, that Americans support President Obama.

    We've all heard enough from the nay-saying Republican party who's in utter desperation to sway voters next year; who have been trying like the dickens to create the false perception that President Obama is a failure and that health care reform is not what Americans want, when Americans DO want substantial reform.

    I'm not here to convince anti-Obamabots that they should reconsider their positions... but to point out that all of their arguments against President Obama are based on outright lies and innuendo.

    September 29, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Paul Ernest Show

    The government should not allow the private sector to continue to manupulate the American people and place more emphasis on profit than good health. A government run initiative should be available with the private insurance industry. Members of the senate are either scared of these riotious individuals or have equally been bought.

    September 29, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Marc from San Diego

    Baucus, you and all of your blue dog buddies are the one's who are holding back meaningful reform this year. It is painfully obvious that you are killing a public option because you are in the pockets of the insurance companies. God Bless America, bribery at it's best.

    September 29, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |


    Put in Democrats that will actually vote like they're Democrats and are not being paid to go against what the people want.


    September 29, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Lisa P

    Without a public option there is no meaningful reform, just an insurance industry money-grab. Baucus is bought and paid for; he must go.

    September 29, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. victim of republican greed

    Let the party of "No!" filibuster. It is important to let Americans know who is on the take of the health care industry. Big mistake, Baucus.

    September 29, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. Robin in Tampa, FL

    I saw the vote come down on the Rockefeller amendment, and felt like the blue dogs just punched me in the gut. However it seems like there is more support for the Shumer amendment. .... but we will see how the final vote

    September 29, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Melissa

    And they prove yet again that they don't have the peoples best interests at heart but would rather try to live up to some imaginary ideal. They'd rather people die from lack of proper health care than actually do their jobs.

    September 29, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Idiot_Pelosi

    Hey Chucky Schummer,

    Have you checked the POLLS lately?

    You don't have a clue to what most americans want and don't want.

    Time for you to MOVE ON.


    September 29, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. victim of republican greed

    Max, giving the insurance companies billions of dollars with no checks or balances is not what we need.

    September 29, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Jonathan

    No public option? I guess those of us without insurance will stay without it. Is that "meaningful reform"?

    September 29, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. Wake Up

    Thank god for people who represent citizens and NOT their political party. Kudos Baucas! You are a real Senator!

    September 29, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Willy Brown

    If they are smart they will keep voting NO!

    September 29, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Brigitte Fayyad

    no public opion plan – Omana will be a one time preseident – unfortunately.

    September 29, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Cincy RN

    So much for being for the American Citizen....good for me, my stock just jumped a $1.10 after the news went out!

    September 29, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Matt

    I give credit to Senators Schumer and Rockefeller.
    At least they gave it a shot.

    September 29, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Michael

    The Democrats who voted for the public option need to be voted out of office.

    I am sick of the Democrats. Why can't they stick together like the Republicans, oh I forgot, the Republicans look out for their cause and their party and the Democrats only look out for themselves.

    September 29, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. victim of republican greed

    I guess Rockefeller knows what it is like to argue with right wing idiots. It has to be like talking to your dining room table.

    September 29, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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