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Baucus Says He'll Bring Forward a Health-Care Bill, Even Without 'Gang of Six'

Updated 5:40 p.m.
By Lori Montgomery
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee told a team of health-care negotiators Friday that he is prepared to unveil his own bill "in the near future," even if his Republican colleagues oppose the idea.

The bill would be based on the group's extensive policy work over the past two months, said Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

"I am committed to getting health care reform done -- done soon and done right," Baucus said in a statement after the senators held a conference call Friday.

He added that the group would meet face-to-face Tuesday, when senators return to Washington, "to take stock of where we are and determine how to best pass real reform."

Baucus committed to the White House weeks ago that he would keep the so-called Gang of Six on track in its health-care negotiations, which have stretched for months.

The chairman said the conference call was "productive," as the group tries to craft a compromise health reform package aimed at winning support from both parties.

The six senators include three Democrats, including Baucus, and three Republicans -- two of whom the White House has accused of prolonging the process with no intention of cutting a deal.

In his statement, Baucus emphasized the broad areas of consensus the group has forged over the past few months, and he seemed to signal that a deal remains within reach.

"Each time we talk, we are reminded just how many areas of agreement exist," Baucus said. "We agree we need to take control of health care costs and make health insurance affordable for families and small businesses. We agree all Americans should be able to choose -- and be able to afford -- a quality health care plan. And, we agree health care reform should be fiscally responsible and not add to the deficit."

By Lori Montgomery  |  September 4, 2009; 2:32 PM ET
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , GOP Leaders , Health Reform  
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Comments

"Gang" is apropos!

Why is it that in this nation, political adversaries arbitrarily dictate what is good (or not) for the citizenry? It has become blatantly obvious Congress and the White House are folding under overt pressure from insurance and pharmaceutical sectors. The self-same sectors and their minions have spent hundreds of millions of dollars distributing lies and masked half-truths throughout the media. They have co-opted any possibility of providing health care to over 50 million uninsured who cannot afford it by leaving it to private insurance companies to devise their own plans, whether voluntarily or forcibly (currently being considered in Congress).

It’s just another dog-and-pony show leaving the most vulnerable in even more jeopardy. I find it most disheartening and uncivil. The U.S. can well-afford to provide health care to every citizen within its borders if the majority in Congress don’t blink an eye when asked to throw billions more $ at the "wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am deeply disappointed by how members of the House and Senate (on both sides of the aisle) have back-pedaled on every prospect of providing a single-payer public option for medical care for ANYONE who is in need. The ONLY member who provided a bill of substance was Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). This issue of universal health coverage (NOT UNIVERSAL HEALTH INSURANCE) and the response of both houses of Congress and the White House have left me absolutely heartbroken by the apparent lack of concern for HUMANITY and their odious alignment with corporate interests.

Posted by: politico5 | September 4, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Thankfully Obamacare or a government run program or co-ops seem to have died. If a thoughtful reform of the system can be made that would be good. A government run system is not good. The third largest employer in the world is the British bureaucracy that runs their health care. Anyone want to speculate about how large and costly the bureaucracy that would be needed for a government run system here? Anyone want to put a price tag on the government unions that would be included? Anyone not understand why unions are now pushing the government run option?

It will be interesting to see if the Spendocrats in the Senate have the stones to try and ram through a government run program using reconciliation. There will be an unprecedented reaction by the constituents if that route is tried.

First the government is going to have to figure out how to fund the debt they have already committed to. That is not going to be easy.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | September 4, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

We should gather the "gang of six" together, put them in prison and throw the key away. No mention of tort reforms or allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines. The over regulated and state mandated insurance requirements have prevented citizens the ability to purchase affordable insurance for their families. Government single payer health care means rationed health care for all.

Posted by: Campbell3 | September 4, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

An Open Message to All Unprincipled Pragmatists in Congress:

As Congress “waters down” health care reform to find bipartisan support, remember this:

WATER + POISON = POISONOUS WATER

A sufficient reason to vote against PelosiObamaReidCare (PORC) is the poisonous fact that it would violate the unalienable rights of patients, doctors, and business owners by 1) forcing people to buy health insurance; 2) forcing employers to provide health insurance for employees; 3) forcing groups (wealthy, business owners, etc.) to pay for the health insurance of other groups; 4) forcing future generations to pay for the health care of previous generations; 5) forcing insurance companies to sell, and employers and patients to buy, policies that cover specific conditions; 6) forcing healthier/younger adults to pay higher premium rates to subsidize premiums for less healthy/older adults; and 7) setting up a bureaucracy to control the private health care choices made by patients and doctors.

PORC is flatulent fascism.

The "pull the trigger" version of PORC just puts more glossy red lipstick on a fascist pig.

Congressional supporters for “PORC, The Fascist Pig” will be given pink slips!

Here are some “DO’s” for Health Care Reform:

Do remove legal and regulatory barriers in order to increase the supply of, and competition, among private insurers, drug companies, physicians, and other health care providers.

Do find ways to allow and encourage insurers to compete across state boundaries.

Do find ways to limit frivolous law suits against doctors.

Do find ways to allow patients, doctors, and business owners to sue ERISSA-protected insurers for their malfeasance.

Do find incentives for insurance companies to offer coverage for pre-existing decisions.

Do make Medicare compensate health care providers at market rates so that they stop cost-shifting.

Dr. Gregory Garamoni
Doctors on Strike for Freedom in Medicine
http://www.doctorsonstrike.com

Posted by: GLGPHD | September 4, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Senator Baucus (not Bauchus, as the headline reads) is a Democrat, and not a member of the GOP (as the headline reads). Might be nice is WaPo staff were somewhat cognizant of the people about whom they write.

Posted by: marmac5 | September 4, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

At 6:05 the link to this 5:40 posted story still has on the front page in large letters "Bauchus" and references to the "GOP senator." I know it's Friday and people want their jollies who are annoyed with the Finance committee, but it looks juvenile and petty of the Post to make and leave posted such an error.

Posted by: jee730 | September 4, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Headline on the Front Web Page for the link to this story read:

Bauchus Vows Action on Reform
CAPITOL BRIEFING | GOP senator says he'll unveil health-care bill, even if his colleagues resist.


Too bad the Washington Post cannot get the name of the Finance Committee Chair correct...or his party affiliation.

Posted by: WestCoastDCExpat | September 4, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure it'll be funny

Posted by: ihatelogins | September 4, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

We should gather the "gang of six" together, put them in prison and throw the key away. No mention of a public option or just getting rid of the insurance companies and their scams once and for all.
We need to join the rest of the civilized world by going with a single payer, universal coverage system that covers all Americans for far less money we now pay the insurance companies.
I hope the Dems, through the use of reconciliation, ram the public option down the throats of the obstructionist party of no, the repubs, and all of those who think like them.
Hopefully within a decade or less, the insurance industry will shrink down to a size where it can be drowned in a bath tub.

Posted by: rcubedkc | September 4, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

This issue could very well determine the fate of our republic. Yet for all the brains we have, no elected leader has asked the essential question. We are so occupied with how to pay for the cost of healthcare, no one asks: Why so much? Why in this modern and globalized economy, where the cost of nearly every product/service is going down, the cost of basic healthcare is going up? In economic terms, the problem is not demand but supply - or more precisely the lack of supply of general practitioners and generic medicine in this country. Medical students know there’s no way they can pay off their expensive education by doing general medicine. Moreover, doctors are not salaried but paid by the procedure they perform. Profit motto clearly indicates specialize your medical practice and prescribe the latest, most expensive, and therefore most profitable procedure/treatment possible. Clearly fire-fighters and policemen perform life-saving work everyday - no less than our doctors. Yet are they paid by the procedure performed when they come to our aid? If so their service would no doubt be on par with the medical profession in cost. Does no one see the implication of the above? We live in a globalized economy, it’s time we subject the medical and pharma professions to the same pressure of competition that holds true for every other blue/white collar profession in this country. We import low cost engineers from abroad to build our bridges and software - why not import low cost healthcare engineers as well. Expand and allocate the H1B1 work visas to all foreign doctors. Close the gates of profligate medical practice based on fee per procedure and increase the supply of salaried general practitioners in this country and costs will plummet before year end. Are you listening Mr. President?

Posted by: Pragmartist | September 4, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Max will not advocate for the people. he will continue to advocate for big pharma and the insurance industry. He does not have my trust.

Posted by: mtnmanvt | September 4, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah, another Health care reform article. Hey WaPo, why aren't you covering the news that everyone is today? About the green Czar, being a communist and all that, key not speech to commie party, accusing "white Polluters" of funneling pollution into black communities, talking about eco-apartheid? Organizing public demonstrations along with the communist party of the USA? Accusing the US government of orchestrating 9/11?

Yeah, we really should get behind this president and his ideas for our money! He's got some great judgment. I am sure he will say he can no more disavow Jones than he can himself... or something like that.

Now how did this commie and the socialists end up in the Whitehouse? Oh yeah, thanks Main Stream Media!
See Politico, Fox News or FoxNation for the real news.

Posted by: sherrielgreenville | September 4, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Thankfully Obamacare or a government run program or co-ops seem to have died. If a thoughtful reform of the system can be made that would be good. A government run system is not good. The third largest employer in the world is the British bureaucracy that runs their health care. Anyone want to speculate about how large and costly the bureaucracy that would be needed for a government run system here? Anyone want to put a price tag on the government unions that would be included? Anyone not understand why unions are now pushing the government run option?

It will be interesting to see if the Spendocrats in the Senate have the stones to try and ram through a government run program using reconciliation. There will be an unprecedented reaction by the constituents if that route is tried.

First the government is going to have to figure out how to fund the debt they have already committed to. That is not going to be easy.

Posted by: Bubbette1
-----------------------------
It is incredible to me how people like you don't recognize the "curve" we are already on. If we do NOTHING, then how does that help the very problem you claim is so troubling to you? Are you just ignorant or stupid or both?

Posted by: michael4 | September 4, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Gregory Garamoni
Doctors on Strike for Freedom in Medicine
http://www.doctorsonstrike.com
------------------------
Hmmm...could you possibly be more self-serving in your "opinion"? I don't see how.
Well done, Doc!

Posted by: michael4 | September 4, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I cannot help but wonder who authored Sen. Baucus' "own bill".

Posted by: McGregor1 | September 4, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Baucus is a traitor to the Democratic Party.

Posted by: michael4 | September 4, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

It's about time they get a bill passed! they should have had a bill on the floor to pass before they went on their 5 week vacation. I'm tired of the dithering.

Contrary to what many of those who spent their summer vacation shouting down everyone else at town hall meetings think - the average working American is always in danger of losing what health insurance they currently have - loss of job, employer trying to reduce the cost of the employee benefits they pay, etc. - and boom, you're uninsured! Sure, you can get coverage for awhile under COBRA, but can you afford it? And if you try to shop around and find a cheaper plan, will they cover you or will they do the old 'pre-existing condition' routine?

Isn't it just a bit hypocritical for members of Congress - who have a pretty good health insurance plan - to deny all Americans similar security?

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | September 4, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Doctors in this county are pushing for a single-payer system. The "Mad As Hell Doctors" tour is on its way from Oregon to Pittsburgh, Gettysburg, and on to D.C. Their theme song is at: https://madashelldoctorstour.com/uploads/01_Mad_As_Hell_Final_Mix.mp3
Enjoy ...

Posted by: McGregor1 | September 4, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Michael4 needs to add something substantive and constructive to his comments rather than just insulting others that write them. Go back and actually study the issues before you run your mouth. You are the one that sounds like the "stupid and ignorant" one. I would say self serving, but you would have to say something intelligent to be that.

Posted by: lauriecp | September 4, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Max needs to promote the public option. He certainly does not want a little state like Montana to determine health care for tens of millions of American's.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 4, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Not only is a government run system the best it was also demanded by Mitch McConnell and John McCain when they insisted they be treated at Bethesda for recent surgeries.

ROFLMAO

These two are absolute jerks.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 4, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Senators, what part of "No" from your own constituency don't you understand?

Unions are BROKE and are trying to transfer their health costs to the Taxpayer.

Screw unions, screw losers, screw people who refuse to work and screw po' people who whine. Get off your A55 anf get a job.

Oh yes, King Obamabi loves everybody and he is giving out jobs, right? Go see your messiah for help, not my wallet.

If it's a choice between my golf game and some poor loser in South Central Los Angeles or a San Francisco AIDS patient, well, it's time for me to tee-up.

I earned my moiney the hard way aned expect to support my family, not soemone else's. Let these people use the "public option" that is currently out there- Medicaid.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | September 4, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama has the testes of the insurance companies in the vice. Question is now, does Obama have the testes to close the vice with the public option?

Posted by: Maddogg | September 4, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

And we don't hear a word from Republicans ending the business practice of moving jobs overseas to socialist nations because of health care costs here in the US.

Are Republicans going to stand up for their voters or not?

Posted by: Maddogg | September 4, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

A poster alludes to Britain's NHS and its "huge" bureaucracy.
Liars know they are not telling the truth; BSers just make stuff up.
Here's the breakdown, thanks to the BBC, of NHS staffing.
Doctors and dentists - 9.6%
Paramedics - 1.3%
Other clinical staff (radiogrpahers, physios and occupational health therapists) - 10.3%
Nurses - 30%
GP practice staff (receptionists, practice managers and dedicated staff such as physios) - 7.1%
Clinical support staff (healthcare assistants and ambulance technicians) - 26.1%
Managers - 2.7%
Property and estates - 5.3%
Admin - 7.6%

I wonder how private heath insurers in the U.S. stack up, bureaucracy wise.

Posted by: lewfournier1 | September 4, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Where is the Republican leadership and why aren't they coming out to denounce the craziness coming from the right. It is appalling to hear Republican rhetoric about our duly elected President of the United States giving a welcome back to school speech. Where are they when Republicans call the President a racist, a Nazi? Where is the respect for the office that they whined about during the Bush years? I have lost all respect for Republicans.

I am also appalled that Democrats are not coming out in mass denouncing the behavior from the right. Believe me I will be writing to all my representatives to complain.

The rhetoric coming from the right has gone way over board. They are screaming about President Obama indocterinating the American people but what are Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and the like doing? How dare a few sore bigoted losers keep the American people, children and others from hearing from their duly elected President. This is wrong, just plain wrong !!!

W

Posted by: catmomtx | September 4, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

And we don't hear a word from Republicans ending the business practice of moving jobs overseas to socialist nations because of health care costs here in the US.

Are Republicans going to stand up for their voters or not?

Posted by: Maddogg | September 4, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone, I just finished my review on Dick Morris’ Catastrophe. In it I discuss some of the topics covered in this article. Please check it out: CrumbyReviews.com
Feel free to leave a comment. I especially want to know what this crowd thinks. Any constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.

Posted by: mrcrumb | September 4, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

In the early part of the 20th century when a universal health care bill was introduced into Congress, the AMA told us that universal health care would mean that Kaiser Wilhelm would take over the country.

In 1948 the AMA told us universal health care would give us a health care system like the Soviet Unions's.

In the early 1990's they told us that government couldn't run anything and that health care would be rationed. Same as they're telling us now.

They must be about to loose some big bucks to fight so viciously with lies, half truths and innuendo.

They were lying then, they're lying now.

And we're supposed to respect these selfish, materialistic, greedy blow hards?

Posted by: flamingliberal | September 4, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I'll believe something good is happening when I hear yowling coming from the drug and insurance companies. When I hear purring................

Posted by: rusty3 | September 4, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Q - Maddogg, have you heard any great jokes lately?

A - Yes.

Ralph the Republican Terrorist was at a townhall protesting aganist health care reform and otherwise being anti-socialistic..

The next day Ralph goes to work and his boss tells him his job is being shipped overseas to a socialist nation because health care costs in the US are too high.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 4, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

At least Obama is not asking for donations from school children, the way George Bush did, for the kids he blew up in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 4, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

This guy is a tool-- has no crediblity anymore.

Obama will have to come up with a health insurance plan for us himself, or we will not have any at all.

The "founders", or, apostles of this country must be so proud of our current state of affairs. Here we are 200 years later fighting like schoolkids. But that is what you get when you vote for legislators who are "christian" or "likeable". Hollow do-nothings desparately holding on to their seats.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | September 4, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Baucus is just another political hack.

Posted by: Jimbo77 | September 4, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The idea of rationing health care came from the same people who run insurance companies! My doctor requested an MRI of my spine after spending 3 weeks in pain. He said the x-ray doesn't show anything but fractures. The "death panel at aetna said no MRI. I pay 1,000. a month for my so called "health insurance" This is the way they operate! I say single payer now! We as a people can decide what the VAT tax will be to pay for our medical care. Take the theiving insurance companies DOWN NOW!

Posted by: writedave | September 4, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like the opponents of reform, bought and paid for by the insurance companies, like senator Baucus may have overplayed their hand.

Posted by: orange3 | September 4, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching this very closely, I'm very very close to becoming and independent voter. If their is no public option then we know both parties have been bought out by the insurance companies. The Republicans have lost it, talk about insane, it's embarrassing. I wonder how much the insurance companies are promising these blue dog Democrats to stop health care reform, as we all know that's what this is all about, MONEY

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | September 4, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Baucus has lost all credibility. He looks like the dimmest bulb in the Congress what with being played by the GOP. Baucus is, thanks only to himself, totally irrelevant

Posted by: dre7861 | September 4, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The United States government is set up as a representative democracy. California, over the years, has set itself up as a direct democracy and we see where that has gotten them.

I am not an expert on health care, economic policy, foreign affairs, etc.; nor do I have the time or resources to become an expert. Every two, four, and six years, I have the opportunity to decide, among two or more possible choices, who I want to go to Washington to lead our country in general, and become experts on these matters.

For our government system to succeed, those who are chosen, by their constituents, to make decisions must be allowed to make them. Likewise, those who are chosen to make those decisions must make them based on their knowledge, regardless of constituents. Those in power have access to knowledge, their constituents do not.

Posted by: risejugger | September 4, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

If Republicans want to run against a level playing field - choice when it comes to our healthcare - let them.

Public option is the compromise.

Posted by: veronica3 | September 4, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Elected leaders are supposed to be leaders. Unfortunately, many of the Republican "leaders" chose simply to nod their heads to lies and myths that THEY knew were untrue. I cannot but think that they kept silent because they thought this was a way to win back power. Their true vocation, though, is to serve the public good. Due to their complicity in the lies and fear mongering, they no longer deserve to be called leaders since they could have helped create an outstanding health care package that would have well served the people living in their districts and in this country, but instead decided to create an election issue.

Posted by: frjim | September 4, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

-- Effective health care delivery --

* Basic treatments for all. Better coverage is paid by individual. We encourage folks to work hard and there is no more free lunch. The government can spend an agreed % of GNP on public health care.

* Prevention: voluntary and non-voluntary (via taxes) on smoking, fast food...

* Limit lawsuit award on malpractice.

* State-of-the-art treatments are less effective than prevention such as a low-dosage aspirin for all over 50 years of age.

* Stop illegals and foreigners from using our medical systems free.

Import foreign doctors and nurses is the worst we can do to a poor country.

Before we send soldiers abroad or explore space, should we solve our home problems such as health care first?

Posted by: TonyP44 | September 4, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

The gang of six is a gang of jokers! Baucus is the jester of them all! Nothing but blatant lies. Look, if Harry Reid does not demand two "Bills," one for reform, (which the Republicans will vote on), and the second Bill for a "PUBLIC OPTION," then it's dead in the water! The House has called out that it is going to be a House bill with a Public Option, or there will be no vote! Here! Here! To the House Speaker!

Did you know that our Congressmen and Ladies go to Bethesda Hospital, a "GOVERNMENT" run facility? That's right.
Now guess who has been there more than once? JOHN MCCAIN, and MITCH MCCONNELL.
REPUBLICANS!!!!!!! There are others too in the republican party. Therefore, they are hypocrites! How can you (Republican Senators) tell me that I can't have a Pubic Option Insurance run by the Government, when you go to one yourselves?
They don't go to their home states and get medical attention, it's through our government. We the People pay for it! This is hypocrisy at it's finest! Liars, Liars, Liars, Liars!!

By the way Mr. President, there is no need to bend over backwards for the Conservative Democrates in the Senate and House to step away from the "Public Option." This is not about them keeping their jobs in 2010. This is about me, and the poor, and disadvantage, and those who have had to mortgage their homes, loose their life savings, and those who have lost their jobs. If you don't demand the Pubic Option, I will tell you that you will loose in 2012. Your voters were the poor, disadvantage, unions, and the middle class, not the well to-do. We will turn our backs on you if you don't pull through for us!
P.S. I'm a Republican Mr. President, and I want a Public Option!
Cole4444cole@yahoo.com

Posted by: cole4444cole | September 4, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of who presents a health care bill, it must contain a Kevorkian option for seniors and coverage for illegal immigrants, paid for with cuts to medicare, IF it's going to get obama's backing. After all, that's the socialist's creed.

If obama continues his push with this bill, after seeing that the majority of Americans do not want this approach, and if he tries to bypass proper procedure with strongarm tactics, there could be more blood in the streets and not just a fingertip.
Eight months in and a majority of Americans do not trust him because he tipped his hand to his socialist agenda.
I really hate to say I told you so. Ya, I hate that.
Wait! Cash for clunkers worked out for obama.
Too bad nothing else that he planned has helped.
He surrounds himself with idiots and proves that he cannot run this country.
So sad for everyone.

Posted by: spiris333 | September 4, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee told a team of health-care negotiators Friday that he is prepared to unveil his own bill "in the near future," even if his Republican colleagues oppose the idea.

The bill would be based on the group's extensive policy work over the past two months, said Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

---

So he is going to take a work product that gives in to all of the Republican demands and call it his bill even though none of the Republicans are going to vote for it?

Wow what a stellar negotiator ...

Either he is owned lock-stock-and-barrel by the insurance industry or he is the dumbest Senator ever to be elected.


Posted by: cautious | September 5, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Will someone please tell us what all the fuss is about. The Speaker of the House has stated, unequivocally, that no health care reform bill will go to the Senate unless it contains a public option. The Senate leadership has assured us that no bill that contains a public option will leave the Senate to go to the Whitehouse. Thus (assuming all these good folks aren't simply lying to us and lying big time), we have total and irreversable gridlock, there is nothing President Obama can do about it, and we will all be better off to forget health care reform for now and just move on. All further discussion at this time can only be in Shakespeare's words: "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying ... nothing."

Posted by: dsarthur1 | September 5, 2009 2:33 AM | Report abuse

If we are so afraid of the government running health care how can we rest easy when they are running our military? I may be shooting myself in the foot, but if you can trust the government with the lives of our soldiers why can’t you trust them with the health of our citizens? I have to agree that I myself seem to pick and choose what I think the government can do best so I am as much to blame for our division as anyone else.
I’ve gotten so caught up in what I think should be the answer and what I think should be done for this country that I’ve lost the ability to look at it from someone else’s point of view. Maybe the one thing we can take away from this debate is that we all want similar things and we should stop and listen to each other instead of yell at each other.
I’m sure we can all see that we are getting nowhere when we entrench ourselves in our own belief’s. Maybe we should just put our ego aside and listen to each other with an opportunity to grow closer rather than apart. These last few years have been tough… I know I’m not the only one who has experienced a change in the way we do things…I guess it would make sense to find that common ground we have, then build from there instead of yelling about money that none of us really has anyway… just sayin.

Posted by: murphysopposite | September 5, 2009 4:17 AM | Report abuse

As I understand it, the public option is dead since it is the element of Obamacare that costs so much and the rules of reconciliation state that the bill must be budget neutral. In addition I understand that some influential Demo Senators think that the use of reconciliation in this case would be a terrible idea.

On top of this twice as many Americans think that deficit reduction should be Obama's number one priority as think that health care reform should be. In addition, polls indicate that people overall are not supporting Obamacare.

So why does the Administration and Congress keep beating their chest and making threats? If they are not careful, they will make the defeat worse.

Posted by: Auburninbp | September 5, 2009 5:10 AM | Report abuse

Please start over on health care reform.

The only way to lower government’s costs while delivering high quality health care is to use “governments unfair advantages” by taking the job of raising and distributing money away from the insurance companies and using only government owned hospitals, operated by government employed doctors and care providers, for dispensing all government funded services.

A national sales tax is the cheapest way to raise money to pay for public health care.

To preserve a vibrant private health care industry all government mandates should be removed from private insurers and care providers.

The private system should no longer be required to deliver services to patients who can not pay.

Tort reform would do wonders for private health care.

Costs for all programs funded by The United States Government including Medicare and Medicaid, would be hundreds of billions of dollars cheaper annually if delivered through the new public system.

Everyone selecting public care would receive all care and medications free no restrictions, no insurance and no co pays required.

Businesses selecting the public option for their employees would no longer have any requirements to pay for or be involved with health care in any way.

Going back and forth between free public, and user purchased private care, may suit some people, and it would provide unlimited choices, ultimate freedom, and always free public care would be available when it is needed or desired to everyone who asks for it, no restrictions.

Posted by: BillWatson1 | September 5, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Why not call them what they are. The Health Care Industry's Gang of Six. I no longer expect much from Obama though, He's turned into or maybe always was a "Step an Fetch it" for the wealthy, a "Uncle Tom". Like Clinton, went to Washington a poor boy made good, then sold his soul for a few million.

Nothing really changes now does it! White trash red neck along with the Uncle Tom's always suck up to money.

Posted by: frluke | September 5, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Get ready for even more lies, manipulation, intimidation and coercion from Obama and his accomplices to force us to swallow Obamacare.

Fortunately, thinking Americans now understand that Obamacare (as “public option,” “co-op,” or whatever names they use to manipulate us) has NOTHING to do with improving our health care system.

Obamacare is just another scam, another power grab that would further destroy our health care, destroy our economy, steal money from our children and grandchildren, multiply our deficit, and enslave us through lies, manipulation, intimidation and coercion.

Imitating Hugo Chavez, Obama wants to nationalize everything, including our health care system! "Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama!" Chavez cheered on Venezuelan TV. He added that he and Cuba's Fidel Castro would now have to work harder just to keep up.
http://www.hacer.org/report/2009/06/us-obamas-red-chorus-investors-business.html

Posted by: AntonioSosa | September 5, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

You are right, Auburninbp. It's obvious that most Americans do not want government-controlled "public option" health care. However, Obama and his accomplices seem ready to further lie, manipulate, intimidate and coerce us into swallowing socialized medicine.

We need to do our best to defend ourselves from Obama and his accomplices before it's too late.

We need to keep in mind that OBAMA LIES. Of course, in communist doublespeak, he would call his death panels, "life panels," or his government-takeover of health care "public option," but that does not change the fact that, as per the House bill http://www.jeffhead.com/HC-HouseII.pdf (pages 425-430), we would be asked to receive end-of-life (death) counseling when we turn 65.

Lies do not change Obama's pro-abortion and pro-infanticide (late-term abortion) stand, nor the aberrant eugenic stands of Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel and Science Czar John Holdren.

Obama’s Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel, rightfully called “Doctor Death,” would make Dr. Kervorkian proud. Dr. Emanuel has said that “Medical care should not be given to those who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens.” As per Dr. Emanuel, your mother suffering from Alzheimer’s or your child diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome SHOULD NOT receive medical care. http://freedomedium.com/2009/07/barack-obama-appoints-doctor-death-as-health-care-czar/

And Obama’s "Science Czar" John Holdren has called for population-control policies such as forced abortions, mass sterilizations, and mandatory population controls. http://www.prisonplanet.com/john-holdren-obamas-science-czar-forced-abortions-and-mass-sterilization-needed-to-save-the-planet.html


Posted by: AntonioSosa | September 5, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

as a Christian i believe that it is the duty of those more fortunate than others to help those that cannot afford to help themselves and the elderly. although it may not be fair, it is the right thing to do; besides when has anything been fair for anyone.

Posted by: mjg0213 | September 5, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

And Congress handed us this tidbit...while pushing a 'trigger' five years out if the Insurance cos do not play fair:

The House on Tuesday voted 242-181 to approve an operating rules package (H Res 5) that eliminates the Medicare trigger, which requires the president to submit a plan to contain Medicare costs if they reach a certain level, CQ Today reports. The trigger was approved as part of the 2003 Medicare law. Under the law, if 45% or more of the program's funding comes from general tax revenues for two consecutive years, the president must submit to Congress legislation that would slow spending over a seven-year period and make the program financially stable. The trigger went into effect for the first time last year .

Yeah, a trigger will protect us ..just like this one did! Call the fools...1.800.828.0498

Posted by: jetlone | September 6, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

And Congress handed us this tidbit...while pushing a 'trigger' five years out if the Insurance cos do not play fair:

The House on Tuesday voted 242-181 to approve an operating rules package (H Res 5) that eliminates the Medicare trigger, which requires the president to submit a plan to contain Medicare costs if they reach a certain level, CQ Today reports. The trigger was approved as part of the 2003 Medicare law. Under the law, if 45% or more of the program's funding comes from general tax revenues for two consecutive years, the president must submit to Congress legislation that would slow spending over a seven-year period and make the program financially stable. The trigger went into effect for the first time last year .

Yeah, a trigger will protect us ..just like this one did! Call the fools...1.800.828.0498

Posted by: jetlone | September 6, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"[T]wo of whom the White House has accused of prolonging the process with no intention of cutting a deal" should actually read "two of whom have openly stated their intention of prolonging the process with no intention of cutting a deal."

Posted by: lycg | September 8, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

My advice to you Dem-O-rats: Wake up and atleast change your voting status to 'independent'! Unions have broke our country down. And now that they are broke and want us to cover their health care.Ask yourself; Where's this made? I earned my living by working two jobs for 15 yrs and retired at 50yrs old. Put a daughter thru 12yrs of private school and college without borrowing. Let those people use the public option that's currently in used, MEDICAID! The H*** with unions,illegal immigrants and the so-called poor who whine all the time! Two words: GET JOBs. In closing; WHAT are we going to done when payment is due and budget cuts (80% of Fed budget is untouchable for cuts) can't be made at the Federal level? That's right, MASSIVE tax hikes.

Posted by: larry0512 | September 8, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Go for it, Max! It is very heartening to see a congressman with some starch in his backbone and being able to afford the luxury of integrity to do what's right. The Party of No has sabotaged the reform for health care for all Americans and has failed to address the out of control elevating costs which make the empowered richer and the poor in the country, poorer. We wonder why they do these things; they have NOTHING to present for relief but opposition. Is it that protecting the miscreants is more important than the welfare of the American people?

Posted by: robjen116 | September 8, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

If you watch cable news at all, you've seen the ads for “health care reform”, now being called “health insurance reform”. “It is an interesting subtle switch in language”. Mike Oliphant runs a small Utah health insurance website http://www.BenefitsManager.net and http://www.dentalinsuranceutah.net whom deals with people day to day struggling to find affordable coverage. “I think it’s important to not understate the huge difference in meaning between “health insurance reform” and “health care reform”. Let’s not lose focus on the need to reform a broken health care system which includes not only health insurance carriers but also billing practices of medical providers. Why isn’t TORT reform part of the national discussion? Studies show that alone could lower costs by 15% for both the medical professionals and health insurance carriers (Humana). Perhaps the federal government should take notice of what Utah has accomplished with first step of health insurance reform and promises for reform in the medical provider arena. Several interesting changes took place with the passage of H.B. 188. House Speaker Clark has championed the need for change while recognizing the experience of the private health insurance sector. To see more about this visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/utah_health_insurance/health_care_reform/prweb2614544.htm

Posted by: mikeoliphant1 | September 8, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

If you watch cable news at all, you've seen the ads for “health care reform”, now being called “health insurance reform”. “It is an interesting subtle switch in language”. Mike Oliphant runs a small Utah health insurance website http://www.BenefitsManager.net and http://www.dentalinsuranceutah.net whom deals with people day to day struggling to find affordable coverage. “I think it’s important to not understate the huge difference in meaning between “health insurance reform” and “health care reform”. Let’s not lose focus on the need to reform a broken health care system which includes not only health insurance carriers but also billing practices of medical providers. Why isn’t TORT reform part of the national discussion? Studies show that alone could lower costs by 15% for both the medical professionals and health insurance carriers (Humana). Perhaps the federal government should take notice of what Utah has accomplished with first step of health insurance reform and promises for reform in the medical provider arena. Several interesting changes took place with the passage of H.B. 188. House Speaker Clark has championed the need for change while recognizing the experience of the private health insurance sector. To see more about this visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/utah_health_insurance/health_care_reform/prweb2614544.htm

Posted by: mikeoliphant1 | September 8, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

After just watching fox news and listening to a progressive liberal ask What Would Jesus say about the uninsured people without health care, isn't it a fundamental right for all to have health care? First I would say Jesus is the Great Physician, for one to use His Name, they should not use it while being less than truthful. Anyone whom knows Jesus, as a personal savior knows he would say, pray, as a man, head of the household Pray with your family, Wife and Children. Bring them up in the Ways of the Lord, Otherwise you take your chances, that is why we have free will. Second I would say keep yourselves and your children saved by Him, teach your children, truth, light and grace. God's Grace is given to His children. Keep your body and mind clean, save it for marriage. Marriage between God, The man and The woman. The children of that blood of the family that is cleansed by God, in His Order for His purpose. For He created them male and female, Man and woman, Husband and wife, father and mother. That is what keeps man healthy and wise. Family is the natural offspring of that Union. We are not breeders, nor hateful, nor bigoted, We are God's Children, God's Family. Don't use tax payers money to assault society nor humanity. Homosexuality is wrong, trans-genderism is wrong, bi-sexuality is wrong. Keep adolescents minds free from sexual deviancy. Stop all abortions as this causes a murderous tendency to mankind and brings many bad demons to the forefront. Don't allow doctors to practice such horrible and demonic procedures, as they call them. Allow humanity to feel real love that has nothing to do with political success, the only true success is whatever we can do to help each other grow in a loving and human way. A child needs a father and a mother, that is God's Creation, Lying, Cheating, Stealing from the Will of God is A Crime of His Nature and His Works. Stop evoking God's Name in your deadly and dangerous Games. Our children are the future, not how much money and real estate you can retain. Stop the Beast In his Tracks.

Posted by: boski66 | September 8, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I wonder about the intelligence of some of our elected representatives. It seems as though they are bereft of rational thinking. Some of them twist the truth to make it sound like a lie and spin a lie to make it sound like the truth to people who are not capable of discerning the difference. Grassley is one of those who tries to insult my intelligence by trying to justify his idiotic and misleading statements about end of life care and decisions. Democrats have done enough to placate Republicans on the health care issue. It is clear to me that Republicans are trying to peel back as many of the provisions in the Bill as possible and still not vote for it. If Democrats have to pass a Bill without Republican support, throw out all of the Republican amendments and craft a Bill that Democrats want.

Posted by: fasm7700 | September 8, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

What does the Senator from Montana think, everybody in the country is as rich as he is? Who the HE double L do these people think they are? We are going to force this down your throat and make you like it or you will give me 3800 dollars a year! I am so sick of this communism on steroids I could puke. This administration and this Congress SUCKS. Ok white house call me a racist.

Posted by: demonot | September 8, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

The idea of fining individuals for not buying health insurance is a violation of our freedom. We now pay medicare tax, social security tax. A tax is something the people will do when they have income. Not a fine, with out evidence of income. To increase insurance fees due to age is a rip off.

Posted by: dj_ingraham | September 8, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=The+Max+Baucus
“Oh man, I don’t know what’s going on but I got all these white bumps down there and everything burns, and I think I’m going blind and my private health insurance won’t cover it… I think I’ve totally got The Max Baucus!”

Posted by: screwjob | September 11, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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