Public Option Struck Down by Senate Committee

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Lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday against creating a public option in health care reform similar to Medicaid and Medicare.

Opponents argued that a government-run option for those without health insurance -- favored by President Barack Obama -- would drive out private insurers and lead to government takeover.

The decision passed by a 15-to-8 vote and sets the debate in motion for the Senate.

Peggy Hartshorn with the pro-life group Heartbeat International joined CBN News to discuss what the Senate bill says about abortion. Click here to watch.

The committee opened its second week of debate with two competing amendments from Democrats for a government-run public insurance option.
    
Under one proposal, payments to doctors, hospitals and other health care providers would be based on Medicare fees.

"I feel so strongly about it because it makes so much sense," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V. "The people that I represent need this. They need this because they are helpless before the insurance companies."

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said there are a variety of reasons for opposing the bill.

"Most importantly, I oppose the amendment because I think it is a slow walk towards government-controlled, single-payer health care," he said.

Republicans are not alone in their stand against the public option.
    
Some moderate Democrats -- both on and off the committee -- aren't fans either.
   
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said he did not include public option in his plan because it could not win 60 votes in the Senate.
    
This week, the committee is also expected hear amendments from GOP senators who want to keep taxpayer money from funding abortions.

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