“Liberal activists have already made it clear that they don’t view the Finance Committee bill as genuine reform.
“The end of the Senate Finance Committee’s process marks the beginning of the next phase — crafting a strong bill that goes to the Senate floor,” declared Richard Kirsch, National Campaign Manager of Health Care for America Now, a coalition of liberal groups. “The HELP Committee bill offers a better path forward in the Senate than the Finance Committee bill.” He added that “The Senate Finance Committee bill falls short on making insurance affordable to America’s families, gives employers a ‘free ride,’ and does not create meaningful competition in the insurance market with a strong national public health insurance option.”
Meanwhile, before the vote in the Finance Committee was even final, 30 unions revealed plans to take out ads in national newspapers on Wednesday opposing the bill. Labor leaders are particularly dismayed at the proposal to finance the bill by taxing high-end health plans, which will affect many union workers.
“The Senate Finance Committee bill remains deeply flawed,” said Gerald W. McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, noting the tax on health plans, lower subsidies, and the lack of a government plan or employer mandate. He warned, “Senate leaders must make major improvements in the bill before it moves to the floor of the U.S. Senate.”