Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who has been shut out of the 6 person, non representative health care negotiations on the Senate Finance Committee, doesn’t seem to be happy about the exclusion or the proposals being mulled over by the Baucus/Conrad/Grassley led group:
Rockefeller has sparred privately with Conrad and Baucus during their Democrat-only Finance Committee meetings about what Rockefeller views as a disregard for measures that would make insurance truly affordable to the poor in West Virginia. But when Rockefeller emerged from those meetings, he tended to deliver only cryptic statements to the media.
On Thursday, however, he stopped putting on a polite face. In a warning shot of sorts, he sent letters to the Government Accountability Office, the National Cooperative Business Association and the Agriculture Department, asking dozens of questions about the history, success rate and legal, regulatory and licensure requirements of cooperatives — questions he said he has yet to receive answers from by the committee.
“I don’t think he is very happy with me, and I regret that,” Rockefeller said of Conrad. “I can’t worry about that.”
3 Democrats, 3 Republicans guiding health care is not what the American public voted for. No solution should be 50/50 bipartisan with the way the country split the senate 60/40. Since true universal health care is off the table and the real conversation is around a public option, the Republicans have gotten as much as they 40% they deserve. The fact that Baucus and Conrad insist on meeting the GOP on their side of the debate, should not only concern the Obama administration going forward but should make democratic senate leadership seriously consider enacting and making permanent Sen. Tom Harkin’s proposals for choosing new committee leadership at regular intervals and by other criteria in addition to Senator tenure.