U.S. senators vote down health care amendments

By now, almost every American is aware of President Obama’s push for health care reform. One of the most progressive ideas involved has been the creation of a government-run public health insurance option that would compete with private insurance companies.

On Tuesday, the Senate’s finance committee turned down two amendments to include this option on what refers to as “the only compromise health care bill so far.”

In an expected party divide, all of the Republican senators on the committee rejected the amendments proposed by Democratic senators Jay Rockefeller and Charles Schumer. However, the amendment also lacked the support of committee chair Senator Max Baucus (D–Mont.) because he was afraid the Republicans on the Senate would filibuster the bill to death if such an option were included, as reported by The New York Times.

The inclusion of a more affordable government-run insurance plan would force private companies to reconsider rates to remain competitive.

Senator Charles Grassley (R–Iowa) argued that such competition would ultimately drive private companies out of business, effectively creating a government-run health care system.

This government-run health care system Republican senators are so frightened of operates successfully in Canada. The idea that a public insurance option would lead to “socialized medicine” — a system like that of many industrialized nations — is considered nothing more than hot air by 59 percent of Americans.

At the moment, the health care bill offers only small nonprofit cooperatives as an alternative to expensive private insurance plans. At some point, America needs to hop on the bandwagon being ridden by the rest of the world, because our stubborn resistance is crippling America — literally and figuratively.