Read time: 3 minutes

Has Baucus Misplayed His Hand?

All day I've been hearing how stupid Max Baucus was to release his plan this week which is basically the same bill he leaked back in June. Chuck Todd
Views:

All day I've been hearing how stupid Max Baucus was to release his plan this week which is basically the same bill he leaked back in June. Chuck Todd was wondering why he took so long to produce nothing new. Suddenly the lead Baucus Dogs' bill isn't the be all and end all.

Todd and Andrea Mitchell were saying that Baucus still has a role, but he screwed up by taking so long. He lost his leverage. We'll see, but it was fascinating watching the media turn on the the king of the gang of six.

And now it appears that Liz Fowler has her hand in the Senate Finance bill.

Max Baucus' plan had the name of Liz Fowler, a former WellPoint VP who now works for the Finance Committee, in the metadata. When you have WellPoint personnel instrumental in writing the laws, you get little provisions like this:

Interstate Sale of Insurance. Starting in 2015, states may form “health care choice compacts” to allow for the purchase of non-group health insurance across state lines. Such compacts may exist between two or more states. Once compacts have been formed, insurers would be allowed to sell policies in any state participating in the compact. Insurers selling policies through a compact would only be subject to the laws and regulations of the state where the policy is written or issued.

This is something that conservatives have been begging to do for years. Even the most outgunned conservative on a talking head debate can vomit up "let people take their insurance across state lines to increase competition!" It sounds reasonable. But there's a very good reason why it would quickly turn into a nightmare, and you can see it in the examples of Delaware and South Dakota.

{}

Consumer Watchdog jumped on this today, claiming that this race to the bottom could be expanded...read on

Now Baucus is saying he'll go it alone without Republican support. So why was there a delay if that's the case? Grassley has been acting like an ass the whole time.

Max Baucus is getting serious. Just a few hours before President Obama is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress, the Finance Committee chairman announced that the committee would be moving forward with a health care reform bill - with or without the GOP.

The announcement followed a morning meeting with the so-called Gang of Six. A source with knowledge of the situation said that Baucus told the two other Democrats and three Republicans that he will be putting out a "Chairman's Mark" by the middle of next week whether he has Republican support or not. (A Chairman's Mark is a bill written by the chairman of the committee.)

Amanda Marcotte understands what's happening. I only wish the media would do their job.

It’s obvious that people who show up screaming about how they want the government out of their Medicare and who go into a faint because they heard that the health care bill has no provision to ban abortion aren’t people that you can respond to in any way. They can’t compromise or understand the concept. They’re too busy struggling against reality itself.

{}

It’s the people who are putting corporate profits ahead of human lives who need to explain themselves. They’re the ones who should be asked why corporate profits count more than lives. They’re the ones who should be asked why working class citizens should be forced to decide between paying for an insurance bill or paying their rent in order to make sure that no insurance company executive goes without a fresh supply of yachts and fancy cars. They should be forced to explain why insurance company executive yachts count more than your ability to avoid homelessness, or your ability to have a perfectly treatable illness actually treated.

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.