In a long-anticipated showdown, liberal Democrats twice failed on Tuesday to inject a government-run insurance option into sweeping health care legislation taking shape in the Senate.
Good news, of course, but it will probably require a stake through the heart and more than a couple of silver bullets to finally get this incredibly bad idea deep-sixed for good.
The Dems in the House won’t give up the public option without a fight. Philip Klein reports that the co-chairman of the House Progessive Caucus says reform sans PO is “unacceptable.”
The Congressman feels that any legislation without a public option is unacceptable and he will not support such a plan,” spokeswoman Natalie Luna Rose wrote in an email.
Meanwhile, much less media attention has been paid to the untimely demise of several sensible amendments to the Baucus bill. John Goodman lists them at his blog:
Bunning Open Records Amendment: would have required the full language and full price tag to be available on the Internet for three days before Congress votes.
Hatch Medicare Advantage (MA) Amendment: would have suspended MA provisions if the CBO finds that (contrary to the President’s promise) seniors are going to lose coverage or benefits.
Kyl Anti-Gag Order Amendment: would have allowed MA insurers to inform seniors of their likely loss of benefits.
Ensign/Cornyn/Kyl Lawsuit Amendments: would have provided relief from frivolous lawsuits.
So, the floor of the Senate Finance Committee is littered with the corpses of good as well as bad amendments to the Baucus “plan.” Who knows what the butcher’s bill be in the end?