Baucus’s Bill Bombs Badly


After months of painstaking negotiations on a bill designed to attract at least some GOP votes, Democratic Finance chairman Max Baucus will release his draft bill today with … none — not even Olympia Snowe, the Maine senator who is sometimes nice enough to provide the Democrats with a sheen of bi-partisan support. But if no Republicans are onboard, that at least means it’s liberal enough to appeal to Democrats, right? Not really! The compromises that Baucus made in his ill-fated effort to get Republicans onboard have turned off a number of Democrats. Jay Rockefeller, for one, says there is “no way” he’ll vote for it unless it changes “by vast amounts.” Democratic senators Ron Wyden and John Kerry have also expressed doubts. Their concerns range from the lack of a public option to the level of subsidies and financing details. But there’s still hope for the bill — Baucus is confident that by the time his committee votes on the amended bill, some Republicans will have seen the light. And there’s always that last-resort option of passing health-care reform through the budget-reconciliation process, requiring only a bare majority, which is looking pretty attractive right now.

Snowe falls away, leaving Senate Dems without GOP health support [Hill]
Baucus Compromise Bill Draws Enthusiastic Support of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) [Five Thirty Eight]
Senate Health Bill Draws Fire on Both Sides [NYT]