Public Option amendments defeated by Senate Finance Committee

09/29/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

Florida Senator Bill Nelson today helped defeat an amendment that would have added a public option to the health care reform bill. The Senate Finance Committee took up the public option for the first time. Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia said the public option in his amendment would act as a counterweight to what he called the “rapacious” insurance companies.

Rockefeller says that without his amendment, the America’s Healthy Futures Act would give away over a half trillion dollars from the government to private insurance companies without requiring them to put it into coverage. Rockefeller doesn’t consider that a shared sacrifice, since the insurance companies are only contributing $20 billion dollars to health care reform.

Earlier this month, Senator Bill Nelson said that most public option supporters “don't have a clue” about what it would take to create such a plan. But Nelson, who used to be Florida’s Insurance Commissioner, appeared to open the doors Tuesday to supporting Rockefeller’s amendment.

The finance committee’s ranking Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, opposed Rockefeller’s amendment. Grassley believes that if there is a public option, more Americans will choose that plan than private insurance. Grassley predicts that would eventually mean all Americans would be enrolled in the public plan, resulting in a de facto single payer system of universal health care paid for by the government.

Rockefeller responded to the criticisms from Grassley and other Republicans by pointing out that Medicare is a single-payer government-funded program and it is very popular. Senator Nelson challenged Grassley’s assertion that a public option would morph into single-payer. He pointed out information provided by a Finance Committee staffer who said that in several states, two private companies control as much as 81 percent of the health insurance policies.

Nelson still appears to support a non-profit rather than a government-funded public option to compete with private insurers. He joined all the Republicans on the Finance Committee to oppose Rockefeller’s amendment, which failed 15-8. A second public option amendment also failed, 13-10.

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The Public Option

Rockefeller and Schumer YOUR FANTASTIC! :-) ATTENTION!! Congress Has The Votes Needed To Pass A Public Option - TODAY Why A Strong Public Option Is Essential - By jacksmith - Working Class Robert Reich explains the pubic option: Hollywood Supports The Public Option :-) It's not just because more than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% republicans). Basically everyone. It's not just because according to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. With 79% of seniors supporting creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!! It's not just because it will lower cost. Because a strong public option will dramatically lower cost for everyone. And dramatically improved the quality of care everyone receives in America and around the World. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. It's not just because it will save trillions of dollars and prevent the needless deaths of millions more of YOU, caused by a rush to profit by the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! It's not just because every expert in every field, including economist, and Nobel laureates all agree that free market based healthcare systems don't work. Never have and never will. The US has the only truly free market based healthcare system in the World. And as you all know now, IT IS A DISASTER! It's not just because providing or denying medically necessary care for profit motivations is wrong. Because it is WRONG! It's professionally, ethically, and morally REPUGNANT!, Animalistic, VILE and EVIL. THE REASON THE PUBLIC OPTION IS ESSENTIAL: The public option is ESSENTIAL because over 200 million of you are trapped in the forest of the wolves. Which is the forest of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! With no way out except through needless inhumane suffering, and DEATH. While the wolves tear at your flesh, and rip you limb from lib. Then feast on your lifeless bodies like a dead carcase for transplant parts. At the most vulnerable times of your lives (when you were sick and hurting), millions of you have had to fight and loose cruel, but heroic battles. Fighting against the big guns of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! in the forest of the wolves. All because you have no place else to go. You have no other CHOICE! But the PUBLIC OPTION will give you someplace safe to go. And it will give us someplace safe to take you. The public option will be your refugium (your refuge). Where the wolves cannot get at you when your down, hurting, and vulnerable. Where everyone who needs it can find rest, security, comfort and the care they need. Protected by the BIG GUNS of We The People Of The United States. THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE AND COUNTRY ON EARTH. This is why it is so critical that we do not lead another 50 million vulnerable, uninsured Americans into the forest of the wolves, without the protections of a Strong Government-run MEDICARE like public option. We The People Of The United States MUST NOT LET THAT HAPPEN to any more of our fellow Americans. If healthcare reform does not contain a strong MEDICARE like public option on day one. YOU MUST! KILL IT. Or you will do far more harm than good. And millions more will die needlessly. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. To those who would continue to obstruct good and true healthcare reform for the American people, and who seek to trap millions more vulnerable Americans in the forest of the wolves. We will continue to fight you. We are prepared to wage all out war against you, and will eagerly DESTROY! you.! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! No Co-op's! No Triggers! NO INDIVIDUAL MANDATES! without a Strong MEDICARE like public option on day one. Healthcare reform can be the GREATEST! Accomplishment of our time and century. A time when future generations may say of us, that we were all, AMERICAS GREATEST GENERATIONS. BUT WE MUST ACT! I therefore call on all my fellow Americans and the peoples of the World. To join us in this fight so that we may finish becoming the better America that we aspire to be for everyone. SPREAD THE WORD! I have been privileged to be witness as many of you fought, and struggled to take your first breath, and your last breath on this earth. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Life is precious. Whatever the cost. WE! MUST SUCCEED. God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings jacksmith - Working Class Things You Can Do To Help NOW! No Triggers! Triggers Krugman on heathcare ( Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare ( John Garamendi on the Public Option and the Grassroots: Howard Dean on the Public Option We're Number 37! in quality of health care Twitter search (#welovethenhs #NHS #hc09 #hcr #healthcar #obama #p2 #topprog #) Check it out.