From AP, via Seattle's Post Intelligencer, 6:26 pm EST.
Senate panel rejects gov't-run insurance option
1. Senate Finance (Baucus) this afternoon voted DOWN a pair of amendments by Jay Rockefeller and Chuck Schumer to include a PUBLIC OPTION in the latest and most viable Obamcare bill remaining under consideration.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, despite bipartisan agreement that private insurers must change their ways.
The two votes marked a victory for Montana Democrat Max Baucus, the Senate Finance Committee chairman, who is hoping to push his middle-of-the-road measure through the panel by week's end. It also kept alive the possibility that at least one Republican may yet swing behind the overhaul, a key goal of both Baucus and the White House.
2. On Rockefeller, Senators Baucus, Lincoln, Conrad, Carper and Florida's Nelson voted with a solid GOP (including Ms Snowe) to PUT DOWN the PO, 15 to 8.
3. The hangup appears to be senatorial concerns that a robust PO will ultimately eliminate, not enhance, private competition.
4. The PO now shows NO vital signs.
5. Ms Pelosi said today, "we are in no rush" to pass a piece.
6. Moreover both bills, HR3200 in the House and Baucus-Obama in the Senate, appear statically, obstinately STUCK with those malodorous mandates---folks caught BREATHING WITHOUT INSURANCE will be forced to fend for themselves, at a cap of 13% of their individual incomes.
7. If they don't, they are afflicted with hefty fines and even imprisonment.
Ensign receives handwritten confirmation - Live Pulse - POLITICO.com
8. Indeed, those miserable mandates make up the main parts of both Baucus and 3200.
9. They're how most of the revenues required to underwrite reform are raised.
10. Ie, prodigious political problems are posed to the party in power.
11. The shifting of Medicaid expenses on to the states, described by Tennessee's democrat governor Bredesen as "the mother of unfunded mandates," is another onerous obstacle embraced by both measures, ask Feinstein and Reid.
WBIR.com | Knoxville, TN | Tennessee Gov. Bredesen takes lead role in fight over health costs
Harry Reid: Health care bill won't work for Nevada - Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009 | 10:36 a.m. - Las Vegas Sun
Feinstein skeptical about health care costs
12. Indeed Kent Conrad, key committee-man, argued today that pushing costs upon North Dakota will force his state to "close hospitals."
13. Mostly, however, today's defeat of Rockefeller and Schumer in Finance signifies how FAR APART are the House and the Senate when it comes to health care.
14. Huge happenings and harshly harmful for Obama, his party, liberals and honest advocates of reform.
15. Obamacare's problems appear insuperable.