Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baucus Health "Reform" Bill Passes 14-9

Whoopee! That piece of shit health care bill that Max Baucus dreamed up passed the Senate Finance Committee with just one Republican vote:

The Senate Finance Committee voted on Tuesday to approve legislation that would reshape the American health care system and provide subsidies to help millions of people buy insurance, as Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, joined all 13 Democrats on the panel in support of the landmark bill.

The vote was 14 to 9, with all of the other Republicans opposed. 

Democrats, including President Obama, had courted Ms. Snowe’s vote, hoping that she would break with the Republican Party leadership and provide at least a veneer of bipartisanship to the bill, which Mr. Obama has declared his top domestic priority. Ms. Snowe was a main author of the bill but she had never committed to voting for it. 

But shortly after 1 p.m., she announced that she was on board, in a speech that silenced the packed committee room and riveted colleagues on both sides of the dais. 

“Is this bill all that I would want?” Ms. Snowe asked. “Far from it. Is it all that it can be? No. But when history calls, history calls. And I happen to think that the consequences of inaction dictate the urgency of Congress to take every opportunity to demonstrate its capacity to solve the monumental issues of our time.”
I wouldn't say that it was "history" calling; rather, I think it was United Health Care, Cigna, and Blue Cross that called Snow. As mcjoan at DailyKos noted:
By voting yes, Snowe remains relevant--the Baucus bill passes with that shiny "bipartisan" sheen that seems still to matter to in Washington. But don't forget that she has her finger on the "trigger"--her trigger that would kill the public option. As BTD says, she's kept the Baucus bill alive, and through it the best chance of a making what now seems inevitable--reform of some kind--as watered down as possible.

So whoopee, we got one Repug on board!--for now. It won't last. It's going to take a strong, concerted, and relentless effort by Speaker Pelosi and the House Progressive Dems to keep the public option alive. (And thank all the gods that my congresscritter, Keith Ellison, is among them.) I do think that it's possible, I think that we can get a public option, but we've got to keep the pressure on.

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