In the last couple weeks, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)--who's been shut out of the bipartisan health care negotiations in the Senate Finance Committee--has been critical of the legislation taking shape behind closed doors. But today, he issued a strong criticism of the entire process--the "gang of six," and by association, of chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), who's insisted on staying this course.
"All the attention is going to those three Republicans ... you just watch as this bill diminishes," Rockefeller said at a Wednesday press event, according to Politico. "Those three won't be there when the bill passes."
He's talking about ranking member Chuck Grassley (D-IA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and conservative Mike Enzi (R-WY), who's perhaps most responsible for slowing down the process and weakening the bill. Rockefeller says their participation is basically a ploy--and that, by insisting on their support, Baucus is selling out the cause of reform.
"Everything depends on six people, three Republicans and three Democrats," Rockefeller said, "and what happens is the bill gets weaker and weaker and weaker."
Rockefeller is one of the leading voices for health care reform in the Senate--and one of the only people on the crucial Finance Committee who supports a robust bill.