The Baucus bill is a gift to the insurance industry that fails to meet the most basic promise of health care reform: a guarantee that Americans will have good health care that they can afford. The Baucus bill would give a government-subsidized monopoly to the private insurance industry to sell their most profitable plans – high-deductible insurance – without having to face competition from a public health insurer.
Under the Baucus bill, employers would have no responsibility to help pay for their workers’ coverage and would be given incentives to have workers pay more for barebones insurance. Americans who don’t get health benefits through work would still not be able to get good, affordable coverage.
We urge Senators on the Finance Committee to replace the Baucus plan with legislation that will do what the Senate HELP Committee and three House committees have done: guarantee that Americans have good health insurance that they can afford with the choice of a strong national public health insurance option.
– Healthcare for America Now (HCAN) via Jackie Schechner
That’s a tad more articulate than what I tried to summarize yesterday.
By the way, I just caught a minute of one of our local newscasts, and it happened to be the whole minute they devoted to the Baucus plan, which they described as “a plan that’s supposed to bring Democrats and Republicans together”. (Who writes this crap?) There was a ten-second sound clip from Orrin Hatch (R) about it costing too much and then a five-second sound clip from Baucus all proud of himself for steering the debate. No comments from any of the many Democrats who flat out think the bill stinks like rotting roadkill. No wonder most Americans have absolutely no clue what’s going on in Washington and how policy will help or hurt them in actuality.
(And, yes, again, I know that’s a picture of Jim Backus and not Max Baucus. I just like the photo now as an icon for health reform).