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'America's Healthy Future Act'

You can download Max Baucus's bill, the America’s Healthy Future Act, here. And you should. By tradition, the Finance Committee's Chairman's Mark (the first draft of the bill) is written in plain English, rather than legislative-speak, so it's actually comprehensible to the interested layman.

By Ezra Klein  |  September 16, 2009; 10:03 AM ET
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Republicans will clearly vote against any Democratic bill if they can’t support this extremely moderate legislation.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | September 16, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know why Jay Rockefeller is nothing like Ben Nelson/Max Baucus on HCR? I'm not understanding why he's coming out so strongly for the public option and opposing the bill when WV isn't exactly a blue state...

Posted by: Chris_ | September 16, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I can download the bill, but why would I want to? Will it someday have collectible value, like those "ET" game cartridges Atari buried in that landfill? Because, you see, I think the Baucus bill is going to meet a similar fate.

Posted by: kcc3 | September 16, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

For those who don't have time to read it, I'll sum it up in one word: sucks.

Posted by: mslavick | September 16, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I keep reading that headline as "America's Healthy Failure Act."

Clearly my subconscious is playing tricks on me.

Posted by: adamiani | September 16, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

It's hard to maintain objectivity. 5 years ago I would've been so happy to read this I'd have pooped my pants. Now I can't see past Baucus being such a sniveling milquetoast.

Posted by: ThomasEN | September 16, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

$507 billion cuts in Medicare.
Mandated to buy or pay fee up to $3800 annually, through IRS.
No public option; no tort reform.
Web-based co-ops for individual purchase.

$349 billion in new taxes and fees.

High taxes/fees on employer-provided "cadillac plans," values including employer half, as defined below:

1. SINGLE INDIVIDUAL : Anthing over value of $8,000 annually, taxed at 35%.

2. FAMILIES: Anthing over value of $21,000 annually, taxed at 35-38%.

Yes, that 35% tax will be levied on the insurance company that provides your employer-provided insurance, but cost will be pushed down to employee, or medical care reduced.

Questions not answered: will unions and state and government workers be exempt from the 35% surcharge?

You can bet your bottom dollar that Congress will be.

Posted by: auntmo9990 | September 16, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Get out the Opium pipes before you dig into this monster Bill. If you ever get to the end without a Stroke you'll find its nothing more than more of the same with the added so-called non-profit coops. No silution at all; just another cave-in to the Private Health insurance sector.
Written in such a way so that most will get battle fatigue before you even begin to understand its most basic issues.

Posted by: lionelroger | September 16, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Get out the Opium pipes before you dig into this monster Bill. If you ever get to the end without a Stroke you'll find its nothing more than more of the same with the added so-called non-profit coops. No solution at all; just another cave-in to the Private Health insurance sector.

Posted by: lionelroger | September 16, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

All this because 15.6 million citizens are uninsured not by choice?

Here are the Census stats on those 45.7 million who supposedly "don't" have health coverage:
--6.4 million are enrolled in Medicaid or S-CHIP and misreported the information on the Census form or to the Census taker (called the "Medicaid undercount")
--4.3 million are eligible for Medicaid or S-CHIP and have not enrolled
--9.3 million are non-citizens
--10.1 million have income of more than three times the poverty line but choose not to purchase coverage
--15.6 million are uninsured and not by choice; about 5 million of these are childless adults

Posted by: judithod | September 16, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Without a strong public option to compete with the private companies who most certainly do not have our health but their bottom line in mind, private insurers will continue their egregious behavior. I can see no real objection to a public option that is supported by 73% of USA doctors and 53% of a more informed American electorate. Medicare WORKS and while it needs some tightening to catch abusers, eg private insurers who supply MedAdvantage plans among others, I, for one, will have far better insurance (unless Congress screws this up too with it's proposed changes) than I have now on a private plan supplied by my spouse's former employer. It would appear that once again "big money" is going to win the so-called, health care debate.

Posted by: asanagi12 | September 16, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Re Jay Rockefeller, my guess is that it's partly because of what he really believes and partly because (I think) WV has a strong union presence, and organized labor is very much behind a public option. It's true that WV is conservative in presidential voting, but there is a strong working class Democratic presence. Remember that both of its senators are Dems (including Robert Byrd, who has been there forever -- I don't remember who preceded Rockefeller).

Posted by: Janine1 | September 16, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The Insurance Lobbyists are in full support of the Baucus Bill.

Unfortunately, for Baucus, No Republicans support it, and Democrats are running away like rats on a sinking ship.

Posted by: cautious | September 16, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The link posted above is not to the actual bill, but to the Chairman's Mark, which is a summary of the actual bill. If the summary is 223 pages long, how long is the actual bill? And how accurate is the Chairman's Mark in telling us what the actual bill really says? Anyone have any idea when the actual bill might be available?

Posted by: brentjjensen | September 17, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

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