Senate Finance Commitee Rejects Public Plan Option With One-Two Punch
Senate Finance Committee members on Tuesday voted down the second of two amendments that would have added a government-run "public option" to their reform proposal. The amendment introduced by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., was defeated 13 to 10, MarketWatch reports (Schroeder, 9/29).
The New York Times: The defeat of the Schumer amendment and another public insurance option amendment earlier in the day marked "the first official setback to an idea that many Democrats, including President Obama, say they support. All of the other versions of the health care legislation advancing in Congress - a bill approved by the Senate health committee and a trio of bills in the House - include some version of the government-run plan, or public option" (Herszenhorn, 9/29).
Newsweek: "Prospects for a public option aren't entirely dead. There's still the possibility of a public option trigger which Olympia Snowe, who voted against Rockerfeller today, has expressed support for. It has yet to be discussed by the Finance Committee" (Connolly, 9/29).
The Hill: "The ultimate fate of the public option on the Senate floor is unclear. Liberals strongly back the idea, but centrist Democrats range from opposed to skeptical. But HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said Tuesday that he is confident that a public option could win a majority of votes in the Senate. 'I have polled senators, and the vast majority of Democrats - maybe approaching 50 - support a public option,' Harkin said on the liberal 'Bill Press Radio Show'" (Young, 9/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.