Baucus' Bill: How Key Committee Members Voted

The centrist Republican has taken heavy criticism from some wings of her own party for siding with Democrats on many issues in the health care debate. Since the start of health care negotiations, the Maine senator has worked behind closed doors with officials from the White House and Democratic lawmakers to provide input and discuss various provisions in the bill.

Snowe was one of the first to suggest the idea of a "trigger" public option, whereby a government-run insurance plan would kick in for any region where private insurance companies failed to provide affordable, accessible coverage to Americans.

She also voted against two amendments from her own party members to restrict federal funding for abortions and prohibit the federal government, state governments and local governments from forcing health providers to provide abortions.

Olympia Snowe

But Snowe has also had to be courted by Democrats. She complained that Democrats were moving too fast and is said to want exhaustive debate time as a requirement for her support for any bill.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa

Chuck Grassley

Grassley was one of the members of the "Gang of Six" bipartisan group that spent months behind closed doors negotiating a bipartisan bill but failed to come to a conclusion.

Since the group fell apart, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee has assailed Baucus' bill for imposing new taxes, making insurance mandatory and expanding Medicaid.

"This bill is moving on a slippery slope to more and more government control of health care," Grassley said today. "There's a lot in this bill that's just a consensus that needs to be done, but there are other provisions of this bill that raise a lot of questions."

He has also placed the blame on the White House for hindering bipartisan talks.

"We'd still be at the table if the people at the White House hadn't pulled the rug out from under Sen. Baucus on this," Grassley said in an MSNBC interview last week.

The longtime senator has, however, praised Baucus for his work in crafting the legislation to keep the bill's price tag considerably lower than other Democratic plans.

But the Iowa senator, who called Baucus' bill "the biggest expansion of a government program ever," voted against it.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

Jay Rockefeller

The West Virginia Democrat's main sticking point has been the exclusion of a public option plan. He tried to introduce such a plan as an amendment in Baucus' bill but it was shot down by a 15-8 vote.

A less liberal proposal for public option by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., did not get the required votes to pass either.

When Baucus first introduced his bill, Rockefeller said "there is no way" he would vote for it unless massive changes were made to it in the amendment process. Even after meeting with Obama on the health care issue, he stuck by his earlier rhetoric.

Despite his concerns about the lack of a public option Rockefeller said today he would vote for Baucus' bill but added that he thinks its necessary a public option be included, even if under a different moniker.

"I think the dialogue has been set in place and... the time has come," Rockefeller told fellow committee members. "The time is right."

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Ron Wyden

The Oregon senator has expressed reservations about the Baucus bill, which he says limits choice, doesn't cut costs tremendously and would not provide affordable coverage to all Americans.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...