Day by Day

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Senate says no to public option

I'll apologize right now for just posting this as it came to my email. I will say that I really like this email bulletin because it lets me know what several news sources are saying. Unfortunately it is too early for me to edit this morning. Happy reading.

Senate Panel Nixes Public Option
In what media accounts are casting as a serious setback for the President and lawmakers who back the so-called "public option," the Senate Finance Committee yesterday voted against including the provision in the bill sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus. Reports also remark on GOP unity against the "public option," which they compare to the Democratic division apparent in yesterday's committee votes. All three networks and major print outlets covered the development, with the CBS Evening News concluding that the "public insurance option seems all but dead in the Senate," and the AP reporting that "liberal Democrats twice failed on Tuesday to inject a government-run insurance option into sweeping health care legislation taking shape in the Senate."
McClatchy calls it "the first significant setback for the centerpiece of...Obama's health care overhaul." ABC World News called the development "a setback...for the President and liberal Democrats," and NBC Nightly News said that while "the public option is not officially dead, today's vote is telling." The New York Times reports this morning that "the votes...underscored divisions among Democrats," were "a setback for...Obama" and "vindicated the middle-of-the-road approach taken by the committee chairman," Sen. Max Baucus. The Los Angeles Times similarly says the votes underscored "the depth of division among Democratic leaders pressing for healthcare legislation as well as the solid Republican opposition."
McClatchy says that "Senate Democrats appeared to be dividing into three important camps: those solidly behind Baucus," those "reluctantly leaning in his direction and a handful of wild cards, who'll wield great influence." CNN's The Situation Room reported that the "one-two punch to the idea of a government-run health care option could signal its death." Fox News' Special Report said that Democratic leaders now "know they do not have the votes in the US Senate to pass the so-called public option, the government-run insurance program." The Washington Post calls the votes "a crippling blow to the hopes of liberals seeking to expand the federal role in health coverage as a cornerstone of reform."
CNN's The Situation Room likewise reported that "Democratic leadership sources...say that what you saw today, that is a Democratic priority, a public option, defeated with help of conservative Democrats, that it's really a prelude to what they believe will happen on the Senate floor. But if you listen to Democratic supporters who are so passionate about this, it sounded like they were incredibly positive."
Democrats Want Obama To Be "Final Arbiter" Politico reports that "squabbling Democrats are looking to the president to be the final arbiter of whether they include the public option." Roll Call, in fact, reports that "the White House has been secretly drafting its own health care legislation that it may unveil at some point during the debate if officials believe it would help secure passage of a bill, according to sources familiar with the effort." In his "The Take" column, Dan Balz writes in the Washington Post that for Obama, "the time of hanging back is quickly coming to an end if he hopes to find the 60 votes needed to pass a bill in the Senate."

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