That mystery compromise deal in the Senate has generated a lot of discussion, but precious few commitments, making it nothing close to a compromise, at this point.
Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln, two of the holdout ConservaDems who necessitated the need for any compromise on a bill that had majority support in the Senate, would not acknowledge any agreement today.
“There’s no specific compromise. There were discussions,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said at a press conference Wednesday […]
According to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), sending the bill to the CBO was about all the 10 senators agree to do. “We got to a point where we couldn’t go any further until we got scores,” she said. “There are a lot of things on the table still and until, you know, we hear back from CBO it’s going to be hard to see whatever I can support, for sure.”
Indeed, Landrieu said, “Until the package that was sent [is] scored, we don’t know what’s in it.”
The minute Landrieu and Lincoln sign on, they lose their leverage, so they’re reluctant to do so.
From the left, Russ Feingold wouldn’t agree to the deal, either:
Feingold told reporters he was concerned that stripping healthcare reform legislation of the government-run public health insurance option could result in a giveaway of federal dollars to private insurers […]
“I don’t want to create a system where creating a new alternative in the private industry area simply takes public subsidies and tax payer dollars and then finances profits for the insurance industry,” he said. “And I think that can be avoided.”
He added “I think the final bill may well avoid that but that’s an area of concern…I still think we should have a public option.”
Later, Feingold wondered whether ConservaDems would come up with the $25 billion in government savings they cancelled out by rejecting the public option.
Over in the House, Lynn Woolsey joined her co-chair of the Progressive Caucus Raul Grijalva in blasting the compromise, and again warning that the House will not swallow whatever the Senate passes without a conference committee. She also wouldn’t commit to anything until she knew what she was talking about:
“We need to know exactly what the compromise is. I’ve already heard that some of the people who [negotiated it] don’t support it, so who knows…. When we know that, we will be taking our position.”
Among progressive groups, most are opposed, though Howard Dean is one of the few trying to tout the compromise, endorsing a Medicare buy-in and a public option working in tandem, although that didn’t appear to be on the table.
Mike Lillis has a lot more on the uncertainty.