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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Baucus Plan is Nonsense

Max Baucus finally gave the public a glimpse of his health care plan.

Families who fail to get health insurance could be fined up to $3,800 under a health care reform plan proposed by a top Senate negotiator.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is leading talks among the "Gang of Six" senators to hammer out a bipartisan compromise, offered what he described on Tuesday as a "framework" and not a "final product."

But the detailed proposal comes just days ahead of a self-imposed Sept. 15 deadline for such a deal. Baucus is pushing his committee members hard to hammer out a bill, and those details come as strong suggestions.

The framework, a copy of which was obtained by FOX News, includes what amounts to a no-choice option. It would make health insurance mandatory, like auto insurance.

The plan would provide tax credits to help small employers and help cover the cost for households making up to three times the federal poverty level. That's about $66,000 for a family of four, and $32,000 for an individual.

Those who still don't sign up would face hefty fines, starting at $750 a year for individuals and $1,500 for families -- for those making up to three times the poverty level.

The only redeeming part of this plan is that there is no public option. Let's hope that everyone isn't simply focusing on that because there's so much to hate in this plan that the public would miss all its problems. First, Baucus would make having health insurance mandatory like car insurance. Of course, there's a huge difference between mandatory car insurance and mandatory health insurance. Driving is a privilege not a right. No one forces you to drive. They force you to drive with car insurance. Here, you are forced to have insurance as part of living. That's an aversion to everything this country stands for.

The plan gives credits to small businesses to help them pay for health insurance but it also makes it mandatory that most small businesses provide insurance. There's also a co op idea which is not very different from the public option itself.

There's also a plethora of new taxes including those on insurance companies. Insurance companies will also be forced to take on those with pre existing conditions. At the same time, they will force on new taxes. Where do you think this will take insurance premiums? Meanwhile, there will be all sorts of co ops run by the government. It won't take long to achieve single payer under such a scenario.

Furthermore, there are fines up to $3500 for anyone that doesn't get health insurance. There's nothing about tort reform. There's nothing about allowing health insurance to cross state lines. There's nothing about health savings accounts. This was supposed to be a bi partisan bill and all that's compromised is a watered down public option. This bill is more of the same and it should be opposed.


Anonymous said...

Of course its nonsense, it was written by Baucus, the most collaborationist Senator in the Democratic Caucus. Actually, it was written by his adviser, a former WellPoint Vice President.

You seriously think co-ops are a real public option? Are you kidding me? Four words can completely and thoroughly destroy your argument: Blue Cross, Blue Shield.

BCBS used to be a "non profit co-op" and look where they are now.

The biggest inefficiency in the health care market is the very existence of private health care companies. You cannot argue that fact.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this plan looks an awful lot like one written by someone who doesn't care about health care reform in cooperation with another guy who wants to kill health care reform.

Baucus and Grassley. Best Friends Forever.

mike volpe said...

There's a huge difference between a co op started by private folks, and one started by the government itself.

Anonymous said...

Whatever, Mike. Your bizarre obsession with questioning the legitimacy of any idea to the left of Ronald Reagan will be the death of this country.

Hopefully, it will only be the death of your movement.

lisa said...

Let's see the unemployment level is the highest it's been for 26 years and people are struggling.
So the answer? cap an trade,unionize the entire healthcare system and free Quality Health Care. Problem solved.

Insurance Master said...

Good post, help where you can still find information on this topic?

constant gina said...

after last year i gave up on politics...i just pray for the best...