Public Option Out
The Senate Finance Committee withstood two attempts today to add a government-run public health insurance option to its compromise health care bill.
CNN reported that the amendments by Democratic Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Charles Schumer of New York were opposed by all 10 Republicans on the committee and a few Democrats, including committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.
Baucus explained that even though he favored a public option, he knew that it would not muster enough votes to get beyond a Republican filibuster in the full Senate.
“They’re getting away with banditry. They revel in it,” Rockefeller said of tactics by insurance companies to avoid covering high-cost or high-risk consumers.
“I feel so strongly about it because it makes so much sense,” he said. “The people I represent need this, because they’re helpless” in terms of health insurance.
CNN stated that Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said a public option means the government eventually taking over the health care system.
“A government-run plan will ultimately force private insurers out of business,” Grassley said, adding that the federal government would run the plan and run the market in which the plan competes.