Yesterday, Rockefeller was indignant about the colossal policy failure that Baucus’s bill is, and said that he wouldn’t vote for the Baucus Finance bill in its present form:
I have sat besides Max Baucus for 22 years on the Finance Committee. … I’m probably one of his best friend among Democrats. But I cannot agree with him on this bill. … There is no way in present form I will vote for it. Therefore, I will not vote for it unless it changes during the amendment process by vast amounts.
Rockefeller cited as the four main concerns that he had such as the:
The lack of a public insurance option, changes to Medicaid, changes to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and overall affordability provisions. He did caution that he reserved the right to change judgments once the final bill comes out, although it’s unlikely that bill will look much different than what Baucus has already released.
Later in the call, Rockefeller suggested four to six Demorats on the Finance Committee had similar feelings, although he didn’t say (and may not know) whether they feel as strongly as he does.
And now, the White House just asked Senator Rockefeller to please kindly go to the White House to discuss his objections with President Obama to the Senate Finance bill:
Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) told The Hill on Wednesday he was asked to come to the White House for a 3 p.m. meeting, a day after announcing his opposition to a Finance Committee healthcare bill, but denied the meeting was intended as a heavy-handed effort by the Obama administration.
Rockefeller would not say who asked him to visit the White House, nor give much details on the topic besides healthcare.
We’ll see what Senator Rockefeller says after his meeting with President Obama later today.