Senate rejects “public option” on US health care reform

By Daily Maverick Legacy 30 September 2009

Following half a day of debate yesterday, the US Senate finance committee rejected efforts by Democrats to add a government-run insurance option to the health reform package being debated. This is the first formal setback to an idea many Democrats, including President Barack Obama, support. It was an effort to break a deadlock between parties and among Democrats, and provide a proposal that would, effectively, be everyone's second choice. The committee voted 15 to eight to reject an amendment by Senator John D. Rockefeller of West Virginia to add a public option, called the Community Choice Health Plan, an outcome that has publicly underscored the lack of support for a government plan among many Democrats. American legislators are not bound by the terms of their election to follow party line voting, as they would be in a parliamentary system such as that in SA. There are still dozens of additional votes to come and the shape of the final outcome is still anyone's guess.

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