"Crowd boos Baucus plan, cheers public option at Obama health care rally."
Today, President Obama delivered a speech on health care before a raucous and boisterous crowd at the University of Maryland, College Park campus. But, the supportive, “solidly young, liberal audience” offered audible boos when Obama mentioned the health care plan that was introduced yesterday by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT):
OBAMA: After debating this issue for the better part of a year, there’s now agreement in Congress on about 80 percent of what needs to be done. Four out of five committees in Congress have completed their work. Yesterday, the Finance Committee, under the leadership of Max Baucus, put out its own bill. [Scattered boos]
Jed Lewinson notes that minutes later, when Obama reiterated his call for a public health insurance option, the crowd cheered wildly. Watch a compilation:
As Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) has argued, the Baucus plan is insufficient because, among other things, co-ops won’t work, employers are not required to provide coverage, children could lose benefits, coverage may not be affordable for too many, and insurers could pass on higher costs to beneficiaries. Despite having compromised on many elements of reform that Republicans demanded, Baucus was still unable to muster any bipartisan support.