Sen. Cantwell On the Baucus Bill

By Josh Feit September 17, 2009

I've been calling Senate Finance Committee member  Sen. Maria Cantwell's office since Wednesday morning after Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the Finance Committe chair, unveiled his (sans public option) health care plan.

I left the following question on her spokeswoman's voice mail: Given Sen. Cantwell's bold statements on health care reform (Here: Yea on the public option and Here: Tax the rich), what does she think about Baucus' compromise proposal, which subs in a health co-op option for the public option?

(In co-ops, like Group Health, health care consumers pool their money to own the health care provider themselves, which creates incentives for cost-effective care since the members themselves pay for their coverage.)

Sen. Cantwell's office has not called back, but The Olympian ran an article today that quotes her as follows:

“I wouldn’t vote for a bill that doesn’t have Medicare reform and the public option,” Cantwell said in a telephone interview. “What would I tell the people in Washington state?” ... “The public plan would be cheaper than subsidies for the insurance companies”

Sen. Cantwell will certainly charm her liberal base by voting 'No', but the second question I asked her spokeswoman was this: Does the senator have any game plan to put the public option back on the table?
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