By a 14-9 vote, including a “yes” vote from Olympia Snowe (R-ME), the Senate Finance Committee passed its version of health care reform today. The full Senate will now make a combined bill that will go before the whole chamber, while the House will do likewise. There is a long way to go. But the squeaky wheel is slowly getting its oil.
I don’t like the Finance Committee’s version at all because it doesn’t allow for any kind of public option. And as much as this notion appals staunch fiscal libertarians (including some friends and family members of mine), we can’t trust the insurance companies to keep rates in check without a strong public option. There are just too many parts of this country where one insurance company has a monopoly on the market and can charge whatever it wants.
In one of my previous posts, I mentioned a proposed compromise of including a public option but allowing individual states to opt out. This may give enough Blue Dog democrats and even some more moderate Republicans enough political cover to vote for it. As long as the option has real teeth (which the trigger concept would not provide), that’s what matters most.