Good or Bad, Baucus Bill a Start
If our Readers Who Comment are any indication, Post reporter Ceci Connolly could not have produced a more accurate first paragraph when she wrote "it appears that no one is happy" with the health-care reform proposal released Wednesday by Sen. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
Connolly's thesis is that the fragile coalition of interest groups supporting health-care reform remains intact, even though "many of the most influential players found elements to dislike (about the Baucus bill), but not necessarily reasons to kill the effort."
Many of our readers are not in that group. Several of them call for a new start. The most frequently heard demand is for a public option, which many see as the only way to contain what they regard as insurance company abuses. There are readers who suggest Medicare, which works, and the Veterans Administration, which also works, should be the standard. But Baucus has produced something that will start the formal legislative process and perhaps let us move beyond the ideological mudslinging, the patently untrue claims by some, and get down to the real business of legislating.
Just for fun, we'll start with the most optimistic comment I found. jralger wrote, "When no one likes what they see, it usually means that they are willing to make trades. At the very least, such a result provides room for compromise. And in a way, maybe this approach will yeild a better final result than one of initial violent agreement ?..."
Maddogg was one of many who asserted that the bill is "A major victory for the health insurance companies. Their stocks are on a roar. Biggest loser is the consumer."
And postfan1 said, "Just what we were most afraid of. Passage of a bill that doesn't address the main problem with health care: it's costs. I suppose that's good news for everyone interested in the status quo, or with absolutely no means to afford health insurance. The rest of us will be paying more for less."
MikeMcNally alleged that, "...Baucus's committee was made up 100% of greedy politicians who have already been paid off by the healthcare industry (Baucus included)...The result is a bill that requires the middle class to pay 13% of their income DIRECTLY to the insurance companies. If they don't the government will force them to pay half that amount. In return the insurance companies get no regulation...This bill needs to be shredded NOW!"
steve4 wrote, "The only thing the dimwits can do to save their political rear ends is find a way to scrap the whole thing. None of this nonsense will work, and it will cost everyone more. Runaway from these bills if you want to keep your job..."
cbej21 predicted that "...It will take more than a few minutes for Limbaugh, Beck and DeMint to devise the necessary lies to derail this plan. Besides this plan will make the insurance companies so much money that republicans may lose some financial support."
maddymappo said, "...What we need is a march on Washington for a good public option. Why is that not being organized? About 75 thousand blathering fear mongerers marched against what they call "obamacare". So where are the millions and millions who want a good public plan to contain the healthcare industry from earning obscene fortunes while refusing ocverage to people with preexisting problems, and being too expensive for most people to purchase who are not part of a group plan? Let's go people!"
daniel3715 added, "...With no public option we are at the mercy of the Insurance robber barons. Six corrupt Senators, representing about 2% of the American people, recipients of millions of dollars from Insurance and big pharma special interests, are selling out the American people, and it looks like this administration is going along with it. I intend to voice my displeasure to anybody who will listen!!!!!"
seakeys wrote, "Whatever bill passes, this rediculous healthcare war better give all Americans the same policy benefits that the goofball legislators get.....that should be the keystone to any discussion, compromise, or deal maker or buster....."
hammeresq said, "...Everyone inside the Beltway seems to think that the important thing is to just get a bill done. However, if you look at all the plans being floated there doesn't seem to be anything beneficial to the American people in any of these plans. And astonishingly none of the plans contains malpractice reform or provision for health insurance to be sold nationwide. These two items if implemented would pretty much obviate the need for any other government involvement to cure our health care ills."
OldUncleTom wrote, "The only good thing I have heard about this bill is the inclusion of benefits expense on W-2's. At least that will be educational. If this passes, and is called "Reform", what excuses will we use in 6 years when premiums have doubled yet again, and copays are still rising?"
Yamaka said, "There is no employer mandate. Then why there is individual mandate? Individuals will be forced buy unaffordable health insurance, since there is no Public Option, which will provide affordable insurance. Say No to individual mandate if there is No Public Option. Make health insurance optional, period."
MikeJ9116 wrote, "I give Sen. Max Baucus credit for putting a health care bill that shows the seamy underbelly of just what the Democrats are proposing. By this I mean just how much it will cost people. The young will have a heart attack (that mandated health care will be handy then) the first time they do their taxes and get slapped with a huge fine for not buying insurance. Then the government will just take the money from their checks like they do with Medicare... Sen. Max Baucus has at least had the guts to show the pain that comes with government dictating health care requirements to the masses."
Absolute_0-K said, "Even the three Republicans who helped draft this Bill don't support it. It's a watered down piece of trash not worth the paper it's printed on."
mattislavin wrote, "Yes, of course the health insurance industry is excited at the prospect of 30 million new customers. But the Baucus plan does nothing to control costs. Co-ops won't be able to compete in markets dominated by a few large insurers, especially since their pool of potential customers is so limited by the plan..."
dummy4peace predicted that "Not adding a dime to our deficits won't happen if a strong Public Option is not included in the reform bill. The Public Plan will cover the Middle Class, provide real competitions, reduce health care costs, and even reduce the number of Medicaid beneficiaries. The Public Option may even reduce our deficits."
And ancient_mariner said, "This bill is worse than worthless. It provides no competition for the insurance companies and effectively gives them a license to continue picking our pockets with the force of law behind them. What we need is single-payer health insurance similar to medicare available to all citizens, regardless of age. This is the only real reform and we need to get it done this year."
BillWatson1 wrote, "...We have proven systems that could be win win for everyone, why aren't these facts part of the health care debate? America's Veteran Administration is the largest, lowest cost; best outcome producing at any cost, health care delivery system in the US, it uses the world's best medical software, and it has been controlling the problems with access, cost, quality, and malpractice successfully for years..."
We'll close with risejugger, from the Public Option Hope Springs Eternal Department, who predicted, "Everybody... knows the Republicans are stalling the process and have no intention of supporting any bill at all... All that needs to be done is to attach the public option to the Finance Committee bill and game over. Let the Republicans filibuster; I mean really force them to filibuster...It will happen, you watch!"
All comments on this article are here.
Posted by: DOUGLASFIELD2 | September 18, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JamesRaider | September 18, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: whocares666 | September 17, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: normpink | September 17, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: interactingdc | September 17, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.