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Local news blogging: Dems banana-split over public option

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The Right is celebrating the democrat-led Senate Finance Committee failure to insert the public option into the Senate’s health care reform bill Tuesday.  Twice, democrat dissent contributed to the committee striking down amendments promoting government-run health insurance programs by votes of 15-8 and 13-10.  Republicans say the Democrats appear weak, as the Washington Times notes:

“Republican leaders said the vote proved that deep cracks are emerging among Democrats on the entire push for health care reform, and warned against efforts by the majority to ram a plan through Congress.”

The Democrats who voted against one or both of the measures: Max Baucus of Montana and Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Bill Nelson of Florida.

Bloggers in states with “nay” voters find the subject enticing:

Arkansas; Sen. Blanche Lincoln voted against both amendments.

Sen. Blanche appears to be voting for her political future as polls for the 2010 incombant candidate lean toward Republican challengers.

Arkansas Blog:

“Pretty bad if you believe Rasmussen polling on matchups between U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln and four Republican opponents with name recognition ranging from zilch to a little. They’d all beat her.

“Lincoln’s catering to the right-wing yesterday also included a vote with Republicans to reinstitue spending on dangerously worthless abstinence-only sex education.”

North Dakota; Sen. Conrad voted against both amendments.

Say Anything: Dem votes just matter of Democrat maneuvering?

“If you ask me, this is a bit of political theater intended to both placate the liberal base (“see we tried to pass the public option!”) and assuage the fears of the public at large who have focused much of their dislike of Democrat-backed reform efforts on the “public option” (“see, they’re only co-ops!).”

Montana; Sen. Baucus voted against both amendments.

4&20 Blackbirds want more answers from Sen. Baucus.

Left in the West:

“One of Baucus’ reasons for rejecting the public option was his belief that there aren’t enough votes in the Senate to pass a healthcare bill with the public option. But Sen. Harkin and others maintain there are 51 votes for the public option — obviously Baucus means that one or more Democrats would join a Republican filibuster.
Now we have to single out those Senators and put massive pressure on them.

Florida; Sen. Nelson voted against amendment by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV.

The Buzz: Sen. Nelson vote proves he’s being a tactful politician.

“The vote allows Nelson to say he supported a public option, even though he has previously said one would not pass the full Senate. After criticism for not being engaged in the health care debate, Nelson has played the last week like a pro, offering up populist amendments and earning lots of national media attention.”

Nelson waking from summertime nap.

Deleware; Sen. Tom Carper voted against amendment by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV.

Delaware Liberal:

“If he has any shred of integrity remaining, Tom Carper will have no choice but to oppose a filibuster of health insurance reform, even if it contains a robust public option.”

Quote of the Day:

“So there’s no explicit public option in the bill, but you know what is still in the bill?  Government-created, government-subsidized, government-managed health care “co-ops.”  Which, as Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid himself said, are the public option just called something else.”

-Say Anything Blog

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Anthony Bowe

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