December 29th, 2009
07:44 AM ET
8 years ago

Public option may be dropped from final health care bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/29/art.clyburn.gi.jpg caption="Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina has said he could vote for a bill without the government insurance plan."]Washington (CNN) - House Democrats are signaling that a final health care bill will drop the government-run public health insurance option favored by liberals but rejected by conservatives from both parties.

A House-Senate conference committee will begin negotiations next month on merging health care bills passed by the Democratic majorities in each chamber.

However, voting in both chambers was extremely close, raising concerns that a compromise might fail to win the necessary final approval.

One of the main differences between the two measures is the public option. The House bill contains the public option as a competitor to private insurers in a national heath insurance exchange open to people now unable to get coverage, but the Senate version lacks a public option.

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. big papa

    This healthcare bill is an interventional foundation...

    ...the status quo is economic suicide...

    ...the House realizes that 1/6th of the economy must be deconstructed and reconstructed slowly...

    ...what the people must realize is how we got here...

    ...the Progressive base MUST get motivated to elect new (more) Democrats for the House and Senate in 2010...

    ...the 56 seat Senate majority is not enough to get what we Progressives know we need to reform this country...

    ...We need MORE Democrats in 2010!

    ...Republican and democratic conservatives must be thrown out and shut out of gov't if American GOVERNMENT, "of by and for the people", is to succeed...

    December 29, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  2. AEK

    Without a public option there is no incentive for the insurance industry to operate competitively in the marketplace. As such, the new health care "reform" bill only adds another layer of government, more taxes and NO oversight on the industry that has caused the problems in the American medical system. Thanks for nothing Congress!!! Now, how exactly does this affect YOUR government-provided health care? Don't bother, I know the answer...

    December 29, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Ramses

    It is unfotunate. Let the Govt & private insurance compete. The fittest will survive. I am a senior citizen, get my Medicare & SS. I still work & pay taxes federal, state, SS & medicare. I am so blessed. I come from a poor country & there many doctors treat poor patients for free & rich have pay. There is definitely something wrong with America specially conservatives. Greed & thoughtlessness has taken over compassion. We need to give & find happiness. This is what life is about.

    December 29, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Dyan, Minnesota

    They can drop the public option, and I can drop the Democrats. Because this voter will not accept a mandate to purchase insurance from for-profit companies without a public option to offset it.

    December 29, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    I have a better idea, stop this maddness now. Stop calling this health care refrom, and look at it for what it is, the largest tax increase in the history of this great nation. This is nothing more than taxing the working Americans to bail out the insurance industry. This is just a vailed government give back to the health care lobbyists.

    December 29, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The public option is the only way to provide real competition.

    December 29, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. JES

    Again our government will not listen to the majority of the voters we don't want anything about this bill.

    Start over and get it right.

    2010 is right around the corner and I think we will see many new faces in Washington and if we don't have anyone to blame but us the voters.

    December 29, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. Sharon

    Without a public option to knock the giant Insurance companies down, there is NO Health Care reform. I will certainly not buy insurance from the standard rip off insurance companies, period. They can fine me all they want.....frankly, I can't even find a job in this poor excuse for an economy.....so the government can just take care of me anyway.

    December 29, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. Chas in Iowa

    Without the "Public Option" there is nothing to hold the insurance companies in check. Now they will have a mandate that all Americans buy their product. What is their motivation to hold down the cost to middle class Americans?
    Taking away a individuals right to sue for compensation has been shown where it has been applied that it does not lower or even help control the rise in insurance premiun costs.
    Sounds to me like "big insurance" wrote this bill.

    December 29, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. J. Rochester, NY

    We are not getting Health Care reform. We are not getting it because we have scumbag politicians that take money from insurance companies to enrich themselves and sell out their constituents.

    This is a travesty and just goes to show that ALL LOBBYING should be banned.

    December 29, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. Ben in Texas

    If the public option is dropped, I will contact my representative to ask that he vote against the bill. If such a bill is passed, it signals that the health care debate is settled, which it is not. A bad bill is worse than no bill, because it ensures that congress will put health care behind them and go on to funding wars and pork, which is their normal business.

    It also ensures that Democrats will suffer in the next couple of election cycles, because the people who elected them will not forget the insult of a bad bill.

    December 29, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. Out the door in 4

    Good, I thought it was already dead, but let's bury the disaster along with this horrible bill they are shoving down our throats.

    December 29, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. Biased

    Of course Rep. Clyburn would vote for anything at this point as long as it got his dear President Obama another piece of history. He totally lost any respect I had for him when he came out during the primaries and twisted a statement one his own ex-Presidents made into claims against him that he was acting like a racist. As if that wasn't enough Clyburn again stepped out in the media a month or so later right here on CNN, warning about his fellow representatives were grumbling to him they were worried and warned the voters in the upcoming state to think twice before they went to the polls yet Clyburn would not say what they were saying or who was stating their concerns. At that point my respect for Clyburn's stature and what he personally had attained in his own career was forever lost when I witnessed what lengths he would go to to ensure an Obama candidate.

    December 29, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. Scott, Tucson

    How about dropping the amendment where whose who choose not to enroll into obamacare will be fined and or jailed.

    And how about making it mandatory that all politicians will forgo their current government health care plan and enroll in the one they're trying to cram down our throats? If it's good for us than surely it would be good for them.

    December 29, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    Sorry to see the public option dropped.

    I am employed so it does not affect me, now, but how can you mandate coverage for all without an alternative option other than the prices currently charged by private insurance? I have no faith in "exchanges" which allow you to buy across state lines.

    If Texas rates are 8000 a year and Louisiana is 6000 a year, and I make 1000 a month as a dishwasher, all this "exchange" does is give me access to TWO insurance plans I cannot afford

    I have to hope th OPM comes up with an affordable plan but I am not as confident with that as I would be with a public option.

    On the plus side, all you cons squawkin' about Congress not using this health plan, OPM does the negotiations for the Federal Employee insurance programs.

    We can only HOPE they are able to provide the public with a plan similar to the government plan(s).

    December 29, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. Emmanuel Goldstein

    As bad as Obamacare's socialist lurch was, this bill will be even worse. All the costs, all the inconveniences, and none of the free ride benefits.

    And after moves like the Cornhusker Kickback, and Blanche Lincoln's $300MM earmark, this heralds something I have been expecting: An all-out raid on the Treasury.

    Suddenly, the idea of a Greater Republic of Texas (composed mostly of mountain and plains states, west of the Mississipi sounds a whole lot more viable.

    December 29, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    That is too bad. While the republicans are doing cartwheels over the lack of competition for their health insurance cronies, no pubic option in heath insurance will grow the national debt much quicker. But, after all, the GOP was never about what is good for America.

    December 29, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. Chris - Denver

    fine whatever just pass the thing.

    December 29, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. Tammy

    Unless you have an alternate to the profit-making insurance companies, you're screwed. If onl;y those of you who have good insurance and can afford it walk in the shoes of someone who has lost everything because of a family illness. Or was told that the cancer, the diabetes, the whatever was a pre-condition, uninsured. There but for the Grace of God go all of us.

    December 29, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Congressional republicans need to step down or be impeached.

    December 29, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. NotFooledTX

    It's ok, medicare and social security weren't perfect when they initially passed either. There's always room for improvement. This is a start.

    December 29, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    P.S. Also, tort reform is NOT the answer to lower premiums, we have tort reform in Texas and my premium will go up 9% on 1/1/10. True, it may be better for the doctor which is fine, but if you expect that money now spent on insurance will only stay in the doctor's pocket, again not a bad thing.

    I am not against tort reform, just cons that state it will lower our premiums.

    December 29, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  23. Sniffit

    Cowards, every one. We put the Dems in office to give us a public option and they're gambling on their constituencies doing what they always do: accept the lesser of two evils...i.e., "this bill is better than no bill." Without a public option, the health care reform bill is just a slightly less steamy turd than what we'll be sniffing if nothing at all gets done.

    December 29, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Fed Up

    Do what you;re going to do and get it over with. Then the good results can start showing. I thought this Senate and Congress would be able to get everything passed. What happened? Could it be that some Democrats actually have a brain and are using it? We can only hope.

    December 29, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. Jerrie Simpson

    Well don't you just know that the democrats will try to put that "public option" into law for the next 50 years until one day we will get another country full of voters who believe in "Change" and "Hope" and we will have another lop-sided, screwed up government who will put the country entirely under government control, which the democraps are trying to do today but not successfully because 1/2 the country which are conservative and are threatening uprising. Thank Goodness for the conservative thinkers in the good old USA who love individual liberties and responsibilities which the democraps don't.

    December 29, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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