Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why the Public Option Failed in the Senate

Sen. Bill Nelson voted against the Jay Rockefeller amendment. Nelson did vote for the watered down public option amendment authored by Chuck Schumer.

"It seems to me that this is very important that we have this competition. It has all safeguards in it ..." Nelson said.

The Schumer amendment failed 10 to 13. All the cynical outreach efforts by President Barack Obama to get Republican votes failed. I previously wrote the Obama and Baucus were crafting legislation that would mandate citizens buying private insurance and protect pharmaceutical industry profits. Lindsey Graham explained to Ezra Klein that Obama never pressed Congress on the public option.

You make people afraid of opposing you or you get them rewarded for helping you. There's no fear for opposing Obama's public option, and the reward is for opposing it. Right now, Republicans feel no political exposure from opposing the president's health-care initiative.

Obama reneged on his campaign promise to hold open meetings with insurers and the pharmaceutical industry. Health insurers will get more customers and drug prices will continue to escalate. It is up to Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in the House of Representitives to keep the public option alive.

Update: the Democrats whom voted against the Rockefeller amendment were Max Baucus, Kent Conrad, Blanche Lincoln, Tom Carper and Nelson.

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