Senator Roland W. Burris, the controversial Democrat of Illinois who filled Barack Obama’s former seat, says he will not vote for a healthcare bill that does not include a government-run insurance plan.
“I am committed to voting for a bill that achieves the goals of a public option: competition, cost savings and accountability,” he said. “I will not be able to vote for lesser legislation that ignores those fundamentals.”
After Democrats on Monday indicated that they were prepared to meet the demands of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and strip the last vestige of a public option from their bill, Burris went to the Senate floor to warn that he had not committed to vote for the legislation.
Burris did not hedge his language. He added: “My colleagues may have forged a compromise bill that can achieve the 60 votes that will be needed for it to pass. But until this bill addresses cost, competition and accountability in a meaningful way, it will not win mine.”
With a dramatic flourish, Mr. Burris said: “As Mohandas Gandhi once famously said, ‘All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender.’”
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