Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., second from right, talks with teh committee's ranking Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, right, on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
A key Senate panel voted down two proposals that would have created government health insurance plans that would compete with the private market.
In what was seen as a victory for Sen. Max Baucus health insurance reform plan, the Senate Finance Committee voted against a plan by Jay Rockefeller, (D-W.V.), that would have created a public carrier that could sell policies in competition with the private sector. Then, the committee nixed a more moderate version sponsored ny Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.).
Baucus hopes his middle of the road version of reform will attract at least one or two Republicans, a prospect that would have been precluded by any plan with a public option. Those who opposed the public option said it would drive private insurers out of business.
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