Score one for the good guys. Not only did the public option in the health care bill fail in the Senate Finance Committee, but it failed twice. It finally appears the lawmakers are listening to what Americans have been saying loud and clear- no government-run option.
Looking to give President Obama a bill to sign by the end of the year, Chairman Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, will have to include a few less pages.
The victory is not the Republicans, but the American people. The August town halls and relentless emailing has finally paid off.
The hope now is Washington takes a deep breath, and begins to put together some real reform efforts in small doses. Now is the time to build upon consensus and listen to what the collective voters are saying- not the far right or the far left.
Once Washington counted the votes in the Finance Committee and the public-option failed for a second time, Baucus announced it was his job to garner 60 votes in the Senate to present the White House with health care legislation worthy of a signature.
“No one shows me how to get 60 votes with a public option,” says Baucus. With a couple of Democrats voting against the public option in committee it became a reality that the 100-member Senate cannot withstand a filibuster by the Republicans.
In the end, the Republican argument regarding a Trojan horse leading to a single-payer system prevailed as three Democrats abandoned their public option amendments.
Leading Democratic, centrist, Kent Conrad-ND, criticized the public option and said, “The devil is in the details.” He also pointed out that a government run plan would cause every major hospital to go bankrupt.
“I can’t possibly support any amendment that does that,” Conrad explained.
It remains to be seen if any meaningful health care reform will pass anytime soon. However, Americans can expect much more dissent in both houses in the coming weeks because the trouble-making tea party movement and they show no signs of letting up.
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