UPDATED: The Senate Finance Committee failed to pass a so-called public option amendment offered by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) in a vote this afternoon. The committee today resumed the markup of Chairman Max Baucus’ “conceptual framework” that he’s trying to pass off as an actual health care bill. The framework/outline lacks any legislative language or a CBO score but Democrats are calling it a bill anyway and want this façade to pass out of committee. It would then be reconciled with the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) bill passed out of committee earlier this year, then brought up for a vote by the full Senate.
Had the Rockefeller amendment passed, it would have added a government-run insurance plan to the government-run insurance “exchange.” As it stands now, only government-approved insurance would be allowed in the exchange — with government setting all of the requirements, content and price of the policies offered in the exchange. Ahem.
The Rockefeller government plan amendment failed 15-8, with Democratic Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Tom Carper (Del.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Ben Nelson (Fla.) joining all Republicans in opposition.
Up immediately following was another government plan amendment offered by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) with a bit more camouflage and sugar coating. The Schumer amendment also failed 10-13 with Sens. Baucus, Conrad and Lincoln again joining Republicans to vote against.