• Senate Finance Committee Punches the Public Option Where it Hurts

    senate-finance-committee-membersThe public option, as most non-wingnuts realize, is just that: an option, a thing people could choose or not choose. The Senate Finance Committee demonstrated this sophisticated "choosing" mechanism yesterday by not choosing the public option, which was presented to them twice in the form of amendments to Max Baucus's wildly unbeloved health care bill.

    Pay attention to how it all went down, in case you ever find yourself faced with a "choice" about health care…

    The first proposal, by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, was rejected 15 to 8, as five Democrats joined all Republicans on the panel in voting no. The second proposal, by Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, was defeated 13 to 10, with three Democrats voting no.

    The votes vindicated the middle-of-the-road approach taken by the committee chairman, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana. Mr. Baucus voted against both proposals [because] he asserted that the idea could not get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster on the Senate floor.

    Nobody is quite sure what Max Baucus means by this, because Democrats could do this thing with 51 votes in the full Senate — oh, but then again, it would be teddibly teddibly rude to put Republicans on the spot like that, and rudeness is never a good option.

    However, we can be sure what Max Baucus means by this

    "My first job is to get this job across the finish line," Baucus said. "I fear if this provision is in this bill as it goes out of this committee, it will jeopardize real meaningful health reform."

    Of course, we can't jeopardize real meaningful health reform with things like real meaningful health reform! That's a choice no one should ever have to make.

    Tags: Democrats, Health Care, Max Baucus, Senate


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