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Public Option Appears DeadOctober 1, 2009

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:08pm

We have stated the position from the beginning that the public option as it is called, was a back door to total federal control of healthcare.  We have opposed it on that ground and also because most of the major issues facing us can be dealt with minus this contentious, budget busting, federally intrusive step.  Our plan has called for many of the same ideas, upon which there is much consensus, regarding meaningful health reform.  We continue to feel that more appropriate regulation of health insurers would solve much of this (see our call for dealing with private health insurance using a regulated utility model).  We also feel that many of the barriers to the market, such as restrictions on interstate sales of policies should be abolished.  Real health reform remains possible and within our grasp.  Extremists on the left and right need to be held a bay, as the Senate committee did in this action in order to get to a substantive bill that improves health insurance access for all Americans through the Congress. . . obi jo and jomaxx

After an intense debate that captured the essence of the national struggle over health care, a pivotal Senate committee on Tuesday rejected two Democratic proposals to create a government insurance plan to compete with private insurers.

The Senate panel twice beat back efforts Tuesday to create a government-run insurance plan, dealing a crippling blow to the hopes of liberals seeking to expand the federal role in health coverage as a cornerstone of reform.

Committee Chairman Max Baucus (Mont.) was one of three Democrats who voted no on both proposals. Baucus, who has emerged as the central player in shaping the bill, which is likely to be the main vehicle for debate on the Senate floor, said he supports the principle of a public option as an alternative to private insurance. But he warned that including it could doom the bill to a Republican filibuster.

“No one has been able to show me how we can count up to 60 votes with a public option,” Baucus said. “I want a bill that can become law.”

Senators Reject Pair of Public Option Proposals –

Prospects for Public Option Dim in Senate –

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