Free Markets, Free People

If The Public Option Is Dead The Democrats Killed It

Not that I’m complaining.

Max Baucus’ Senate Finance Committee voted on Jay Rockefeller’s public option amendment. No joy for public option supporters:

After five hours of debate, the Senate Finance Committee this afternoon voted down Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s proposal for a public option to compete with private insurers.

Though a majority of the committee’s Democrats supported it, the amendment was defeated overwhelmingly, 15-8. The proposal sought to create a public health insurance option that would set rates like Medicare does.

Now as I understand it, there are 13 Dems and 10 Reps on that committee. So it is important to understand that all that is required for anything to come out of that committee the Democrats want is to vote the party line. 10 Republican cannot stop a thing.

Which brings us to the second public option offering and vote:

The Schumer market-responsive public option amendment has now failed. It was called at 3:50.

The vote was 10-13. Three Democrats opposed.

Two Democrats (Bill Nelson of Florida and Tom Carper of Delaware) voted for Schumer’s amendment after opposing Rockefeller’s.

But Sens. Max Baucus, Kent Conrad and Blanche Lincoln still opposed.

Baucus has been quoted as saying his job is to fashion something that will draw at least 60 votes (and a public option won’t do it).  Ben Nelson feels that they need 65 votes (meaning 5 Republicans have to go along) on any Senate bill to make it “legitimate”.

Of course this doesn’t mean some other Democrat won’t try to offer a public option amendment to the bill, but my sense is if Schumer can’t get it done, it’s not going to get done. I guess the Senate is left to talk co-ops and triggers instead while the leftosphere and the House Progressive Conference does a slow burn.



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38 Responses to If The Public Option Is Dead The Democrats Killed It

  • Is The Public Option Finally Dead? If So, Democrats Killed It

    No, no, NO!

    Republicans, in the pay of Big Insurance and terrified of the racist, thuggish teabaggers, stopped the public option! And Glen Beck! And LIMBAUGH! And… and… Joe Wilson! And… and… and… Dick Cheney. And PALIN! THEY ALL STOPPED THE PUBLIC OPTION!!!! BECAUSE THEY WANT OBAMA TO FAIL BECAUSE THEY HATE A BLACK MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!! IT’S THE VAST RIGHT-WING RACIST INSURANCE CONSPIRACY!!!!!!!

    / sarc

    But don’t think that this won’t be how MiniTru will report it and how democrats will remember it. They have refused to recognize that they control the Congress and the White House, so why should any other piece of reality mean anything to them?

    • “ why should any other piece of reality mean anything to them?”

      Reality? How bourgeois!

      Doncha’ know, you rube, that reality is what they WANT it to be?

  • I think the real significance of this is that it kills any incentive for the Blue Dogs to compromise and support any form of public option in the House. Why should they fall on their swords and risk a beating back home when the Senate has just told them that their sacrifice will be in vain?

    The problem for Pelosi is that if she strips out a public option to appease the Blue Dogs, the left wing House members lose any reason to go on supporting this and drop out themselves.

    Bottom line – I think the House dems are collapsing into factions and Pelosi is going to find it impossible to get any kind of bill passed.

    But this is what happens when you make an incompetent idealogue Speaker.

  • Time for moi to bow.

    As I have predicted, time and time and time again, the public option is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, and, yes, it is DEAD.

    I said months ago that it was dead. I said that it was dead when The Clown™ was at record job approval. I said that it was dead when the protests in the townhall meetings started up. And, when September started, I said that it was dead.

    So, as I pat myself on the back for my seeing the future when it was unpopular, and realizing that the Democrats overreached, as they always do when they get into a position of power.

    So, listen up, dear friends…ready for another prediction?

    The Democrats will be landslided next year. The wash which will drive them from power will make 1994 look like a good year for the party of The Clown™.

    Remember, folks, this is coming 13 months before it happens. But from my travels, and from what I read, the Democrats will lose at least 40 seats, with each month passing having the number rise. It could become 50 or 60 by year’s end.

  • There are so many variables in this whole thing that no one really knows what’s going to happen. But, since it’s fun to think about it anyway…

    I think this fight is going to go right to the wire – which is the two governor elections in NJ and VA.

    Until that point, the leftist side is going to continue to use every sort of arm-twisting they can think of to slip this thing through. I think they will likely fail to get anything that has a public option or a mandate in it, but they won’t stop trying before those elections.

    If the Democrats pull both those elections out, the conclusion will be that the whole Tea Party thing is overblown (even though we’re talking about Democratic-leaning states), and a new round of arm-twisting on the healthcare bill will begin. If Republicans win both, the Democrats in districts that are Republican leaning, or even close to that, will probably block any major efforts from that point.

    What I’m wondering now is whether the whole dynamic will reach a point where no healthcare bill at all will get through. Consider: If it’s mostly symbolic and contains no public option and no mandate, and therefore does little or nothing to change the number of uninsured or do any serious redistribution of wealth, the left will scream “sell-out” and we’ll see some demoralization on that side. But I think there’s now a chunk of the voting public that will assume that any bill at all is bad, no matter what it actually does, because they’ve reached the point that they don’t trust anything that comes out of Washington.

    Being caught between these two sides might make no bill at all look pretty attractive, especially to squishy moderates.

  • Just because someone vites against one of Obama’s policies, does not make him a racist. Seriously, you seem to flash a the race card more that the average perspn flashes a credit card.

  • Dead?

    They’ll still be trying to pass it when flying saucers are hovering outside preparing to disintegrate the Capitol.

    The Left are zombies. They couldn’t forge a kettle large enough to be a cannibal pot. They couldn’t build the fire to make the pot boil. But they want everyone in the pot and they’ll be right there when dinner is served.

    The public option is the path to power over everyone. It’s the rotten zombies snapping on the latex glove and making sure you hear that sound.

    Dead? Not until the last war band of Vandals have cleaned the meat off of the last bone in Rome.

  • I keep telling you, watch Snowe. She never accepted the public option, she wants triggers, she’ll get what she wants, and Obama will have to reign in the House. It’ll happen.

    • Erb says: “ I keep telling you, watch Snowe. She never accepted the public option, she wants triggers, she’ll get what she wants, and Obama will have to reign in the House. It’ll happen.”

      Sorry, Erb. Snowe is under heavy political pressure from back home to vote against all of the crappola that the liberal Demmies have pushed. That is why she joined with the rest of the GOP members of the Finance Committee today and the five Demmies to stop the public option mid-death sentence.

      Snowe has been told, from what I have heard, that if she is the only Republican to vote to aid Obama, she will get a massive – and I use the term massive without doubt – primary opponent who will make her fight for that seat. She comes up for re-election in 2012, and Republicans have long memories.

      The again, it is not Snowe that you should be worrying about. It is the huge number of Demmies from red states, like Tester, and Pryor, and Webb, and Lincoln, and Kent Conrad, and Ben Nelson, and many others.

      60 votes? You folks don’t even have 50 votes for this turkey.

      Admit it, Erb – the “robust public option” is deader than Ted Kennedy. If I were a betting man, Ted Kennedy has a better shot of coming back to life than the public option, despite the incredible hallucinations of the raving psycho Howard Dean and the man/it Rachel Maddow.

      • I live in Maine. Snowe is invulnerable here. No one can defeat her in a primary. She is independent minded, and prone to support a health care bill. You are simply dead wrong. You took your bows too soon, within a month, you will see that your claims that health care reform is dead were false. Watch and learn.

        • Erb says, “I live in Maine. Snowe is invulnerable here. No one can defeat her in a primary. She is independent minded, and prone to support a health care bill. You are simply dead wrong. You took your bows too soon, within a month, you will see that your claims that health care reform is dead were false. Watch and learn.”

          Poor, poor Erby. No one is invulnerable. A bad economy here, and a little intraparty opposition there, and we have the makings of a primary challenge. Which is why Snowe voted twice yesterday against that darned public option.

          Wanna see how Snowe is moving against you or is just not moving towards you? Check these out:

          Did Democrats Just Lose Snowe? In committee – that’s likely

          CBS: Sen. Snowe on a Public Option, ‘Trigger’

          [BOB SCHIEFFER (host): Did the president take the public option off the table the other night, or should he be more specific about that, Senator Snowe?

          SEN. OLYMPIA SNOWE (R-MAINE): He should be more specific. In fact, I urged the president to take the public option off the table, because it’s universally opposed by all Republicans in the Senate. And therefore, there’s no way to pass a plan that includes the public option. So I think he’s recognizing that, because it is a roadblock to building the kind of consensus that we need to move forward. Even Chairman Baucus has indicated no proposal could be passed in the Senate that includes it. So it would be best to just move forward.]

          Senate Dems bury public option in health care plan

          [“Although the public option remains a feature of the House version of health care reform legislation, the vote against it in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday made it clear it lacks support among Republicans and, more importantly, moderate Democrats in the Senate.”]

          An Inconvenient Truth: It Can’t Work if It Can’t Pass

          Snowe will spurn Democrats on health care

          [“The Hill newspaper reports this morning that Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, their best chance of luring one away, has said she can’t back the Senate Finance Committee bill to be made public today.

          Snowe, one of the bipartisan “gang of six” senators who’ve been negotiating over a bill for months, said she has “concerns’ about how it will be paid for.

          Snowe was one of only three GOPers who voted for the administration’s stimulus package earlier this year. She has been under heavy pressure from her caucus to stay in the party’s fold.

          Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican, told Politico that one party outlier “puts a real spotlight on anybody who does differ from all of their colleagues.”]

          Again, Erby, stay in your little cocoon of delusion. I know it feels like a safe place to be, but in the end it leaves you without a real feeling of what is happening out in the real world.

          So, when you finally come out, I suggest you pay real close attention to the fact that the Demmies cannot muster even 50 secure votes for this thing, much less 60 to cut off debate, if the “robust public option” is in there, and if it is not in there 150 Demmies in the House will vote against it, plus the GOPers, which means it dies there.

          That’s why I said that this health care thingy is dead, dead, dead, D-E-A-D.

          In time, you will agree with me, whether you like it or not.

          • To emphasize the point, let me simplify:

            Erb says:

            [Snowe] wants triggers, she’ll get what she wants

            What Snowe actually says on Sep 13, 2009:

            [The public option with triggers is] not on the table. It wont be. We’ll be using the co-op as an option at this point as the means for injecting competition in the process

            Erb is an idiot.

          • Methinks thou doth protest too much, James. You didn’t even think Obama would get elected. You tend to replace wishful thinking with the facts. Snowe has been negotiating tough with Baucus and Obama personally. I mean, if they have to use reconciliation to ram something through, the Democrats will. They need only 51 votes for that. But Snowe knows that health care reform is popular in Maine, and if she is seen as the one who not only made it happen, but made sure it was pragmatic, she will be invincible. I don’t think you realize how popular she is here.

          • thou doth protest too much

            Erb researches too little. He can’t even get the current Snowe talking point right.

          • “Erb researches too little.”

            Oh, he’s one of the laziest people you’ll ever come across.

          • I should add to that that not only is Erb too lazy to do any research, he has no interest in facts (historical, social, or immediately pertinent to a discussion he compulsively participats in) researched in response to him and laid down directly before him.

            He’s mainly interested in keeping that old pie hole of his in motion.

            What interests me are his real motives.

    • and Obama will have to reign in the House

      Figured this was just a typo, until I remembered who was commenting.

  • The public option is not dead. First of all, it will end up being called the insurance coop option, with the cooperatives financed, of course, by the taxpayer. Then there is the matter of the house-passed bill, which contains a public option. In joint committee session, who in their right minds believes that the public option will be scuttled?

    Climbing on top of this whole scenario, it is obvious that if passed, any Democrat health care bill passed will send the county toward bankruptcy and destroy the best health care in the world. The only hope then, is that no bill passes the Senate.

    • The cost of the wars President Bush got us into would have easily provided health care support for some time. But I think the public option is dead for this round of reform. Whether or not it comes back depends upon what’s next. If no reform is passed, look for public option within ten years (perhaps by a GOP administration — only Nixon could go to China and all that). If reform is passed, if it is successful and brings down costs overall and helps bring about budget stability, there will be no public option. It won’t be seen as necessary.

      • Erb says: “ The cost of the wars President Bush got us into would have easily provided health care support for some time.”

        How about this one, Erby? “The cost of the boondoggle stimulus crappola that The Clown™ shoved down the nation’s throat in February would have easily provided health care support for some time.”

        Sorry to say it, Erb, but The Clown™ has no one to blame for the state of things, i.e. health care, but himself. He did nothing but hand it over to Nancy Shmancy Pelosi to draft (and she drafted a real loser – in fact, three real losers), and when it didn’t pass by August the Demmies had to go home and hear how unpopular this garbage was from their constituents. And now a lot of Demmies realize that they would rather keep their seats than side with The Clown™, and Nancy Shmancy, and Harry Reid.

        Look at the bright side, Erby. When the 112th Congress opens in January 2011, Nancy Pelosi will no longer be Speaker of the House, and Harry Reid will be starting his retirement back in Searchlight, Nevada. And, even funnier, The Clown™ will be following them when he loses his job the following year.

        • Oh, James, you’re going to get a lesson in political reality. Obama will get health care reform. The Democrats will remain the majority party. You will whine.

          • Erb says, “Oh, James, you’re going to get a lesson in political reality. Obama will get health care reform. The Democrats will remain the majority party. You will whine.”

            Poor, poor Erby. Listening to the rapture of The Clown’s™ dull speeches and the cries of Nancy Shmancy Pelosi and the rest of the liars in that party has lulled you into such an obvious state of delusion that I am sure that on this election night, when the Democrats lose the governorships in NJ and VA, you will say that this means nothing for the national scene. You will be wrong, of course, but we will just enjoy watching you spin it as something else other than a damned defeat.

            Remember the words of Fleetwood Mac:

            I took my love, I took it down
            Climbed a mountain and I turned around
            I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
            till the landslide brought me down

            The landslide coming for the Democrats will leave you breathless. Remember that I warned you way ahead of time.

          • hahahahahahahaha

            >>>> Obama will get health care reform

            Best one this year

      • No, Scott. I get really tired of this talking point. The cost of Iraq and Afghanistan will end. If Obama has his way, sooner rather than later. The cost of government supplied health care will never end. It will only get larger. So, unless you really mean that you only want government health care for 10 years or so, your claim is not only false, it is dumb.
        Give up that talking point. It cannot stand the mildest of scrutiny.


  • They’ll just “sneak” it in there come conference time.

    • sharkThey’ll just “sneak” it in there come conference time.

      This sort of thing worries me very much. We’ve seen the democrats desperately trying to spin and lie their way to victory on this thing, using various ruses such as rebranding it as “insurance reform” or talking about “triggers” (on a related note, witness Jean-Francois renaming cap ‘n’ trade as “pollution control”). Dingy Harry has threatened to ram it through using various legislative tricks. They lean heavily on RINO’s, especially the two pinheads from Maine, in order to get some veneer of bipartisanship. They write new bills that they pitch (with MiniTru’s willing cooperation) as “moderate” even though there is little difference from the older versions. They’ll do anything to get this through.

      And we know that they DON’T EVEN READ THE BILLS.

      How hard (easy?) would it be for the dems to insert language into a 1000 page bill that ultimately gives them what they want? Anybody who’s read a bill knows how turgid and incomprehensible the language is, with frequent, confusing references to other sections of the bill or other US law. I think that the dems COULD write a bill that satisfies all their horrible desires, ram through a hasty vote by leaning on / bribing enough bluedogs and RINO’s, and have TAO sign off before anybody realizes that it’s a trojan horse. I also think that the dems are unscrupulous enough to do just that.

      Keep a close eye out. These people are little better than criminals and they are desperate. “Trapped rat” is an excellent simile for them.

      Even if they lose this year, they’ll be back. Remember: Americans have been conditioned to believe that our health care system is inefficient, overly expensive, and NEEDS to be “reformed”. The dems will simply try again, and again, and AGAIN, until they either get what they want or they are thrown out of office. Sadly, there are too many stupid people in our country who buy into the cr*p that the dems sell.

  • James M., you’ve been smoking something. Obama is doing pretty well for a first year President given the problems the country is facing. His popularity remains above 50%, the Democrats remain more popular than the Republicans, and despite all the effort, the country is pretty evenly split on health care reform, with the majority still uncertain. Obama is playing this well, and I think your faux over-confidence hides the fact that you know you’re just providing bluster. I can see your response when you’re proven wrong: you’ll downplay what passes, you’ll predict doom and defeat for those who went along with it, and you’ll say it’s a good thing because it’s effect on the country will be so bad that the Democrats are sure to lose in the next election. You bluster hounds are so predictable that way.

    • “Obama is doing pretty well for a first year President given the problems the country is facing. His popularity remains above 50%,”

      Not really. Given the problems he faced coming in, if he had focused on the problems, instead of threatening the country with even worse problems (the stimulus boondoggle, another run at national health care, the cap-and-trade monstrosity, his own constant unrelennting messianic presence) he would probably have enjoyed a sustained honeymoon and benefit of the doubt.

      I’d say he’s lucky not to be at just 40% approval, but if you look at Rasmussen’s index of “strongly approve” vs. “strongly disapprove,” he’s down around minus-10.

      He could recover. Remember, Scott, how from ’92 to ’96 Clinton went from gays in the military to school uniforms? (With that odd intervening fact of having his party’s Congressional majorities slaughtered in the midterm elections.)

      I wonder if Obama can do anything like that. I tend to doubt it.

    • Again Scott, no. Obama is not doing well at all. It is pretty telling when France recognizes you as “weak and naive”. Obama is vacillating on his promises in Afghanistan (another promise with an expiration date?). Obama is on the wrong side in Honduras. Foreign policy is of little interest to Obama, much too hard for him, and it shows.

      He is not doing well domestically. When your only tool is a campaign speech, every problem looks like a campaign. Obama has tied himself into knots on health care. He outsourced the stimulus and got what he deserved for doing that. Cap and Trade is not only in limbo, as we find out about falsified data, it is not even necessary.

      The economy is in a shambles. We got some GDP growth from the $8k housing credit and the “cash for clunkers”. But all that did was move spending forward into the third quarter. It did not create any new demand. Unemployment continues to get worse. We see this fight between the Fed who wants inflation and an economy that wants deflation. Check out the grocery stores. Prices on staples are coming down and there are a lot more 2 for 1 sales. This one has a long way to go to play out, yet.

      Last, anyone saying Obama inherited this economy is being absurd, and that includes Obama and his minions. Obama volunteered. It was clear in September what was going on with the economy. Obama has done nothing to help except use the “Chicago Way” to pay off cronies and propose programs that will result in higher taxes and cripple the economy even further. As Dick Morris points out, Obama is a catastrophe at every level. He has even trivialized racism by claiming anyone who opposes him is racist. Just Lovely.

      How can you not see this stuff, Scott?

      • To deny that Obama inherited this economic mess is absurd. It was thirty years in the making, and though we’ll probably start seeing a recovery by mid-2010, it may sputter out in a couple years due to structural problems. And the stimulus does seem to be working — it’ll probably really help Obama have a 2012 much like Reagan’s 1984.

        And, of course, Reagan really was considered to be doing poorly early, similar predictions were made about him. But the fact is Obama is, with grace and while maintaining public support, weathering an unprecedented storm of really dishonest and angry attacks (I blog about that today). He is really impressing me in foreign policy (and do you really think it significant that a foreign leader criticizes a US President…thank God no conservative French President ever sad anything bad about Bush!) Do you really how really weird it is for someone on the right to make a big deal out of a statement of a foreign leader about a US President? Like, that’s ever bothered you before?

        I think you’re lost in the sea of right wing rhetoric, with a view not near as widespread as you think — and remember the tortoise and the hare. Obama is being patient, confident and deliberate. I really believe you are believing a narrative that is pure fiction. I mean to deny that he inherited this recession and the bailouts? To deny evidence the stimulus is working? I mean, that’s laughable! Are you serious?!

  • “You bluster hounds are so predictable that way.”

    And you wonder why we despise you so much!

  • I wish you guys could see yourselves objectively, and not through your own biased, partisans lens. I’m having a similar sort of debate with people on the left, trying to argue that their “go for it all” effort to get a single payer system, win by one vote in each chamber if necessary and screw the Republicans who are all racist and evil makes no sense. That we need to bring the country together, the country is in the middle, and such jihad tactics will ultimately fail. They are the mirror image of most of you — caught up in a partisan narrative, fighting a kind of political jihad, certain they are right, and treating any conservatives who go into their territory the way you treat me here.

    It’s so silly. But it could make for good research about political discourse in America!

    • “I wish you guys could see yourselves objectively, and not through your own biased, partisans lens.”

      By contrast, Scott, I hope that you never actually see yourself objectively.

    • Erb today:

      win by one vote in each chamber if necessary and screw the Republicans…makes no sense

      Erb 1 month ago:

      Democrats should get Machiavellian: I think the Democratic party and Barack Obama need to cease their efforts to create bi-partisan health care reform, and instead use their majorities to pass their agenda

      Erb is a weasel.

  • “I wonder if Obama can do anything like that. I tend to doubt it.”

    Clinton actually had experience in losing an election because he went too left back in Arkansas. He actually had a learning experience and was subsequently re-elected. Obama is a spoiled brat who has never been held to account for ANYTHING since he left his grandmother’s care. Your doubts are well-founded

    • And there’s also a contrast in the direction of Obama’s vs. Clinton’s narcissism.

      Clinton was really all about Clinton. Leftist positions were his reset point, but the bottom line was always “what’s good for Bill.” He was a mere sociopath.

      Obama is about Obama as world destiny. Leftist positions are not his reset point, they are his ontological syntax. He isn’t stopping by, that’s where he’s from. The bottom line is “what’s good for Obama is good for the world.” He is, in other words, a revolutionary. That’s why both Castro and Chavez are so enamored of him.