Leadership fail!

Earlier today, a majority of the members of the Senate Finance Committee – including Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana – voted against amendments to add a public option to the healthcare reform bill they were considering. While the vote may be surprising to some, I’m not entirely shocked, considering Sen. Baucus has taken more than $3.9 million in campaign contributions from the health insurance lobby.

Shortly after the Senate Finance Committee’s failure to include the public health insurance options offered by Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) during consideration of the committee’s health care reform proposal, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) released the following statement:

“I am disappointed the Senate Finance Committee rejected amendments offered by Senator Rockefeller and Senator Schumer to include a public health insurance option in its health care reform legislation. I have strongly supported a public health insurance option from the start as a way to increase competition in the health care industry and drive down costs. A public health insurance option is key to ensuring every American is able to afford health insurance and without it, I don’t see how we will bring real reform to the system. I will continue to work with my colleagues to include a public option in the bill when it comes to the Senate floor.”


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6 thoughts on “Leadership fail!

  1. Zach, are you honestly saying that Sen. Baucus had the power to push the Public Option through the committee and chose not to do so because of campaign contributions to him by the health insurance industry?

    1. PB, I’m saying that Sen. Baucus took $3.9 million from the health insurance lobby, and he voted against the inclusion of a public option in health reform legislation. It seems more than a little coincidental, doesn’t it?

      1. I had read your first paragraph as the Senator could have obtained the committee’s approval if he had chosen to do so. I did not read it as Sen. Baucus’ vote was purchased by the industry.

        We have ‘the best democracy money can buy’ (Greg Palast) and if money is a motivator perhaps people need to play also. Maybe the next time we should all send $5 along with our letters encouraging a specific vote.

  2. My concern with this health care reform, as an Independent, is that it’s all over the place, there are not enough specifics and it must be put into writing and as if “written in stone” so that not every illegal that comes to the US will get free healthcare and those that work hard all their citizen life in US pay for every “Tom, Dick and Harry”

    1. Mr. Gordon, we already do pay for everyone, including illegals, because a hospital cannot deny treatment in an emergency room. When push come to shove, a sick person will go to the emergency room and then everyone eats the cost.

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