I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Today in health care reform: showdown on the public option
On Tuesday the Senate Finance Committee, on which Senator Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. sits, will resume debate on the healthcare reform bill written by committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. As CNN notes, two Senators plan to force a vote on the public option today by introducing two amendments to Baucus’ bill.
The New York Times’ “Prescriptions” blog gives more insight:
Two Democratic senators, John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia and Charles E. Schumer of New York, intend to press the issue in separate amendments before the committee. The prospects for passage there appear dim, but supporters hope they can build momentum by debating the issue now and holding a roll-call vote of committee members under the gaze of Democratic constituencies like labor unions, which strongly support the public option.
The supporters plan to continue pushing when Democratic leaders reconcile the Finance Committee’s bill with one from the more liberal Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which already includes a public option, and when the resulting legislation goes to the Senate floor.
“Just bringing up this issue in the Finance Committee has helped to revitalize the overall push for it,” said Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mr. Schumer. “Its chances only get better from here.”
Carl Hulse, also of the Times gave the big picture this morning, writing, “Behind closed doors, House Democrats are trying to merge three different health proposals produced by separate committees and the leadership hopes to send a blended bill to the Congressional Budget Office for cost estimates by the end of the week.”
As the Washington Independent reported, some liberal groups, including Progressive Change Committee and Democracy for America, have coughed up $50,000 for an ad attempting to persuade Baucus not to give up on the public option.