Baucus leaves America behind: Senate Finance Committee is dropping the "public option" from their bill
It looks like the mighty Emperor Max Baucus and his royal lords are finally releasing details of their health care plan and to nobody's surprise they decided to screw America.
After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits two key Democratic priorities but incorporates provisions to slow the explosive rise in medical costs, officials said.
These officials said participants were on track to exclude a requirement many congressional Democrats seek for large businesses to offer coverage to their workers. Nor would there be a provision for a government insurance option, despite President Barack Obama's support for such a plan. The three Democrats and three Republicans from the Senate Finance Committee were considering a tax of as much as 35 percent on very high-cost insurance policies, part of an attempt to rein in rapid escalation of costs.
Also likely to be included in any deal was creation of a commission charged with slowing the growth of Medicare through recommendations that would take effect automatically unless overturned by Congress. "We're going to get agreement here," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee chairman, said Monday. "The group of six really wants to get to 'yes.'"
The merry band of six court jesters are doing what they've been paid to do. Kill health care reform. The gang of fools are putting themselves between you and your doctor. That's if you have any. Check out how much money he's taken from Health Industrial Complex.
No one serving in the Senate today has taken as much money from the Medical-Industrial Complex as Baucus ($2,865,881) other than notorious corporate whore Arlen Specter ($4,066,433) and two former presidential candidates, John Kerry ($8,163,141) and John McCain ($8,672,260). Baucus even tops Medical Industry shill Mitch McConnell ($2,755,468). And when it comes to the Financial Sector-- the banksters, Big Insurance and Big Real Estate-- Baucus was also on the payroll in a major way. His $4,675,393 in donations put him in the Top 10, with corporate whores like Mitch McConnell, Alexander Lamar, Arlen Specter, Joe Lieberman, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Chuck Schumer... basically the folks who oversaw the economic legislation that dragged the economy right over the cliff.
Max and his gang are only worried about one thing. Making sure the health insurance industry makes out like thieves. The above chart shows where his loyalties are.
Digby makes an excellent point about a new CBO report:
Strangely, the headline to this article doesn't characterize this development as a devastating blow to Republicans and opponents of health care reform the way every other report from the CBO has been characterized as a devastating blow to Democrats, even though it punctures one of the industry's central arguments against the public plan:
A new government health insurance plan sought by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats could coexist with private insurers without driving them out of business, an analysis by nonpartisan budget experts suggests.
The estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — seen as good news by Democrats — comes as leaders pushed Monday to make progress on health care overhaul before lawmakers go home for their August recess.
I personally don't like insurance companies and I'd be happy if we had a system where they weren't necessary. But if they could be made to do their business in a fair and equitable manner, sell their products honestly and fulfill their obligations, then we could probably live with them. Rapacious greedheads making obscene profits on the backs of sick Americans, however, is an immoral and expensive arrangement that can't be tolerated any longer.
If strict regulation and competition from a public option would force insurance companies to participate in universal health care as decent corporate citizens then I won't complain. I also won't care if a public plan does end up driving out those which insist that spending billions in compensation to their CEOs is necessary but fulfilling the terms of their policies isn't. It's really up to them.
Why isn't the media all over this CBO report? Didn't you hear the trumpets roar before the pundits held up the report and asked Judd Gregg why he's against the public option now?? We're trying to change health care in America and people are usually afraid of change. Even if the change will help them. It's natural. Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee are only interested in protecting their donors.
The Finance Committee was supposed to deal with -- wait for it -- finance. Instead, President Baucus and President Snowe decided that they'd just write the whole damn bill themselves and have included a competing co-op plan that would replace the public plan offered by the HELP committee.
Because three Republican Senators are worth more than 76% of the country to members of the most exclusive club in the world.
They certainly have a mighty high opinion of themselves.
Yes, three republicans rule the world of health care. I understand why Orrin Hatch quit the group. He wasn't needed to make sure these sorry fools helped destroy the bill.