From the New York Times (emphasis mine) -
After a half-day of animated debate, the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday rejected efforts by liberal Democrats to add a government-run health insurance plan to major health care legislation, dealing the first official setback to an idea that many Democrats, including President Obama, say they support.This development isn't the end of the debate on a public option, in fact it was expected - the committee chair Baucus has staunchly opposed a public option (surely he hasn't been influenced by the hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions that he has received from health insurers over the years, right?), so one was never going to get through his committee.
All of the other versions of the health care legislation advancing in Congress — a bill approved by the Senate health committee and a trio of bills in the House — include some version of the government-run plan, or public option.
The committee on Tuesday afternoon voted, 15 to 8, to reject an amendment proposed by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Democrat of West Virginia, to add a public option called the Community Choice Health Plan, an outcome that underscored the lack of support for a government plan among many Democrats.
Mr. Baucus voted no, as did Senators Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, and Bill Nelson of Florida, joining all 10 Republicans in opposition.
It's still frustrating though - one of the reasons that Democrats have a majority in both chambers of Congress (and one of the reasons that I personally am a proud Democrat) is that in 2006 and 2008, we could point to the Republicans and their outright sellout of America and Americans to corporate interests and say "that's not us."
Tonight it is us.
If you live in a district represented by a Democratic Congressman/woman, contact them now and let them know that if they truly support the best interests of their constituents, they will push for and support a health care reform bill that contains a viable and robust public health insurance option.
Anything less is no reform at all.
Gabrielle Giffords (CD8) has a contact form here
Raul Grijalva (CD7) here
Ann Kirkpatrick (CD1) here
Ed Pastor (CD4) here
Harry Mitchell (CD5) here