The CBO is expected to release a final estimate on the cost and coverage effects of the Senate Finance Committee bill this afternoon. Those figures are likely to play a major role in how committee members vote on the bill. Until then, here are the Finance Committee Members' major concerns, as reported by the New York Times:
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia is upset that a health care bill poised for approval by the Finance Committee would turn nearly a half-trillion dollars over to insurance companies, whose profits he says are "out of sight."
Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine worries that the bill would require people to buy insurance they cannot afford. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas fears that the bill would be too costly for the government.
And Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon warns that the bill would lock many workers into health plans selected by their employers, without allowing them to shop for better, cheaper plans, an alternative that could help drive down costs for everyone.
Too expensive for the government. Too expensive for individuals. Too easy on big corporations. Too restrictive of individual choice. Fully addressing all of these contradictory concerns is almost certainly impossible, and it's a sharp reminder of why political decision making, rather than bringing people together, often ends up leaving everyone unhappy.