Wusses.WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday rejected two amendments to include a government-run public health insurance option in the only compromise health care bill so far.
The amendments by Democratic Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Charles Schumer of New York were opposed by all 10 Republicans on the committee and a few Democrats, including committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.
Baucus explained that he liked much about the idea of a public option but that he knew a health care bill containing the provision would fail to win enough support in the full Senate to overcome a Republican filibuster.
"I fear if this provision is in the bill, it will hold back meaningful reform this year," Baucus said.
Rockefeller said that unfair practices by insurance companies required a not-for-profit alternative that would give consumers a lower-cost option and, in some cases, the only coverage they could get....
In efforts to bridge differences, the Finance Committee proposal dropped the public insurance option and a mandate for all employers to provide health coverage. It would require individuals to have coverage or face a fine of up to $1,900 for a family of four but includes subsidies to help low- and middle-income Americans obtain health care plans.