Second public option amendment defeated on more narrow vote

The Senate Finance Committee has rejected a second attempt to insert a public option into a sweeping health care reform bill the panel is drafting.

The 10-13 vote was on a provision sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., which would have created a public health insurance option that allowed doctors to negotiate reimbursement rates.

The vote was closer than an earlier try by Sen. Jay Rockerfeller, D-W.Va., whose provision tied reimbursement rates for doctors to Medicare. That effort failed 8-15.

On both attempts, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., voted no because he said he did not believe a health care bill with a public option can pass the full Senate with the required 60 vote supermajority.

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