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Old Coot Donating Member (385 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:11 PM
Original message
Top Democrats pledge cooperation on health care
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) The two Senate Democrats leading the drive to overhaul health care say they will work together to come up with legislation.

Sens. Max Baucus and Edward Kennedy said in a joint statement Saturday they intend to cooperate so their committees pass similar bills that can be combined into a single piece of legislation before the Senate leaves for its August recess.

The statement appeared aimed at dispelling reports that Baucus and Kennedy were working at cross purposes in crafting legislation.

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gap9w...



Why two committees working on the same issue?

From what I have read, Baucus seems less likely to propose a meaningful, effective public plan. He seems afraid of the insurance lobby. Hopefully Kennedy will help deliver on a public plan open to anyone who chooses it.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. Baucus - Chair of Finance; Kennedy - Chair of Health, Ed & Welfare
Edited on Sat May-30-09 03:20 PM by pinto
A coordinated approach is to craft a bill that meets the need and will be budgeted and passed - in a perfect scenario. They set a laudable deadline - before August recess.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Baucus = whore of the bankers
Kennedy = the people's champion.
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Unfortunately, Teddy isn't acting like the "people's champion" here, it seems
Kennedy is expected to release a plan next week requiring all individuals to buy insurance and creating a a public insurance plan that would compete with private insurers.

You would think he would look at the failure of RomneyCare in his own home state and realize the shit doesn't work.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. If funded for equality of access, affordability with no denial of pre-existing conditions
it may well be a good bridge. I personally favor Medicare for all, yet realize funding for that may be hard to come by in this budget cycle.

One compromise could be allowing people to buy Medicare insurance and leaving employer based insurance or private insurance options as is. The fiscal conservatives that want a "free market based" solution wouldn't have a leg to stand on and, yeah, people could choose.

(disclaimer) I'm on Medicare. It works. A great case could be made for expansion of the program across the general population. Increased participation would help offset high end user costs, such as mine.
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. The word "affordable" has no meaning in this context, none, nada
I don't mean to rant at you, the word pops up everywhere in the health care conversation, but it is nonsense. For-profit insurance is not and never will be "affordable." And minimum and low-wage workers cannot afford ANY additional expense. They can't even buy enough food now to get through a month - thus, the 50% or so who use our local food banks being working people.

Our entire political system is totally corrupted by mega-$$ corporate bribes, and yet we keep talking about the proposals put forth by these industry shills as if they made any sense at all for anyone except the vampire profiteers.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. That's my point in a round about way. If they really look at affordability,
it's either Medicare - and we all foot the bill - or employer paid health care which is becoming increasingly limited and seen now by many *business interests*, i.e. corporate folks, as too much of a burden - or private pay options which the public would walk away from given a Medicare buy in option.

It's an opportunity to compromise, and hoist them on their own petard. If nothing else, I'd love to see a buy in option to Medicare for the uninsured as a start. Premiums are at 90 some odd $ now a month. That would probably rise, but would still be a much better deal than the private sector.

The fear campaign from insurance companies, RW government haters and assorted others is likely to be relentless. Remember that ad from Clinton's first term? It may well be that redux, with the overlay of their characterizing a generally centrist liberal Democratic President as a socialist.

So, I think we have three tracks. Break the fear sound barrier and make the case for broad based universal health care and enact legislation. Results may be incremental on all three fronts.

Thanks for your post. I didn't take it as a rant at me, at all. We need a bunch of voices involved in this. :hi:
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Check out this recent item -
Edited on Sat May-30-09 04:55 PM by pinto
The Swift Boat ad guy is already at it.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

:eyes:
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. That's about where Howard Dean's position on this is
<---- and as the avatar indicates, I'm usually in agreement with the good doctor, and I think he might be playing a "chess game" of his own with that strategy. Perhaps he's thinking that a "public option" now would be so popular that eventually nobody would be buying the "private option" anymore and expanded Medicare would be the result.

Sort of like his signing the civil unions bill in Vermont was the catalyst for the eventual acceptance of gay marriage in that state and the neighboring states.

And all things being equal, that would be a good strategy. Except all things are NOT equal in a corporatist controlled congress. As long as that's the case the bought and paid for tools like Baucus and Nelson will always get their way, unless we the people scare the living shit out of them and let it be known that we simply will not take it anymore.

And sadly, I have my doubts about even that, considering they failed to get the true message of the 2006 & 2008 elections, let alone the millions who protested the run up to the Iraq war. :evilfrown:
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. An odd couple on this for sure.
I'm sure some part of Sen. Kennedy sees this as a signature moment. I fully expect him to hang in there in negotiations, back and forth, etc.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. To actually answer.
Finance has to deal with matters of the budget. Any health plan will have large budget implications. Think about it: Nearly everything in the government involves money, at some level, so finance gets its fingers in everything. The opposite would be no better: Nearly all expenditures in government involve something other than just budget, so strictly speaking one could say that Finance should have its fingers in virtually nothing, and no committee should look at financial matters separately.

Health, etc., is the committee that considers health-related issues.

The plan Kennedy has proposed, from what littled I've seen, simply requires that everybody buy it. It's a tax on the healthy to subsidize government health-care extended to the less healthy, different only in ideology, not really in practice, from a similar kind of bill that would simply require all people to buy private health insurance. That would help private business, and would be anathema to those that think being forced to buy government health insurance is a good thing when really it's to defend the government's interests.

When I was young I was in a position to barely survive; to buy health insurance would have been (a) budget-busting and (b) stupid. I probably had sufficient income, but had expenses that I doubt the government would have approved as valid deductions to enable me to receive low-income subsidies. Meeting neither with government approval nor qualifications, I'd simply have lived in real penury. This, too, would probably make some happy.
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Old Coot Donating Member (385 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. That makes sense. nt
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snowdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. 1. Schumer promised to request that CBO score single payer! Lets

see if he keeps his promise.

http://discuss.epluribusmedia.net/content/senator-schum...



.......Outcome:

1. Schumer promised to request that CBO score single payer!

He said that scoring would be faster if Rangel makes the request but that his request alone is sufficient to get it scored (in retrospect, we should have asked "how fast?"). He seemed to be serious as he told "Megan" in Washington "got that".

1. He will request that Rangel meet with Three Parks (he had declined) and hold single payer hearings. He agreed with us that this could be an historic opportunity for Rangel to leave a legacy of having influenced healthcare for the positive (he also said that he, Schumer, could not hold such hearings).
2. He will offer to co-chair these hearings in some way.
3. He will think about re-shaping his plan vis points 1 and 3 above.
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snowdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
7. NYT article Yesterday: 2 Democrats Spearheading Health Bill Are Split
The public can't see the Democrats having a discussion.






http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/30/health/policy/30healt...


2 Democrats Spearheading Health Bill Are Split




By ROBERT PEAR
Published: May 29, 2009

WASHINGTON A significant split has developed between the two Democratic senators leading efforts to remake the nations health care system. They disagree over the contours of a public health insurance plan, the most explosive issue in the debate.

One of the senators, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, reasserting himself after months of treatment for brain cancer, made clear this week that he favored a robust public health care plan, a government-sponsored entity that would compete with private insurers.

As a starting point for his bill, Mr. Kennedy favors a public plan that looks like Medicare, the government-run program for older Americans created in 1965, when he was a young senator.

By contrast, Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who is chairman of the Finance Committee, has been working for months with the panels senior Republican, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, in the hope of forging a bipartisan bill, which would probably play down the option of a public plan.

Mr. Grassley opposes creation of a new government insurance program and says we cannot afford the public health plan we have already, referring to Medicare.

President Obama has championed a public plan, saying it would help keep the private sector honest, though he has indicated he will be flexible on the details.


..........
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DonCoquixote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. If there were Justice
Both baucus and Grassley would die of conditions they could not get treatment for.

I am sorry to feel this way, but I do.
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snowdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. I am not feeling
generous toward them either. The insurance industry will continue to feed their campaign coffers. damm.
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quidam56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
11. Profit Care comes way ahead of Patient Care
At least in Tennessee and Virginia. It's shocking to see what is deemed, defended and supported as "the acceptable standards of health care" in East Tennessee. http://www.wisecountyissues.com/?p=62
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Old Coot Donating Member (385 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Again, I ask: What do you have against Wellmont?
I have seen you post this link dozens of times, yet the link doesn't really say anything.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-30-09 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
15. Look, you simply cannot require everybody to buy health care.
If they don't have the money, that is enough money to pay for food, shelter, and clothing, plus enough extra, then they cannot buy health care. And if what they mean is a means-tested public health care system, then they ought to say that.
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