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If this report is accurate, Max Baucus is either a fool, a tool, or both

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-07-09 07:47 AM
Original message
If this report is accurate, Max Baucus is either a fool, a tool, or both
BAUCUS HAS A PLAN.... :

<...>

That's not surprising -- Baucus, after promising earlier this year to fight "tooth and nail" for a public option, has been signaling his intentions to scrap the idea.

If the public option is out, what's in? Well, the Baucus plan offers subsidies up to 300% of the poverty level. That's far less than the 400% level urged by most reform advocates -- and creates the very real possibility of forcing Americans to pay for expensive coverage they won't like.

The package would cost between $850 billion to $900 billion over 10 years, which is a little low, but far better than the $700 billion we've heard bandied about. It not only excludes a public option, but also a "trigger."

Baucus would finance his plan with a tax on insurance companies' most expensive policies (the "Cadillac" plans), an idea first recommended by Democratic Sens. Schumer, Rockefeller, and Stabenow.

OK, so the Baucus plan is obviously far short of other Democratic proposals, but at least it's a proposal that could garner bipartisan support, right? It's not everything reformers hoped for, but it's a "consensus" bill, right? Wrong. This scaled-back proposal, according to reports this morning, "apparently" isn't enough to satisfy the demands of Sens. Grassley and Enzi.

So, let me get this straight. Max Baucus has worked for months on a watered-down plan intended to curry favor with conservatives. He's finally circulating his proposal, which he could have unveiled a long time ago, and which Republicans still won't like.

I say both.



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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-07-09 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. I read this. The only good thing to say is that it will perhaps move the process forward.
Edited on Mon Sep-07-09 08:22 AM by flpoljunkie
And, it's way past time!
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-07-09 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. & perhaps it will teach even Baucus that attempting to negotiate with ass holes is fruitless
...one can hope :)
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-07-09 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. Benen is wrong about the tax on insurance companies. That was Kerry's proposal
Edited on Mon Sep-07-09 08:55 AM by ProSense
On Monday, Obama met with Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, and a handful of economists to "make sure we had exhausted all the possibilities that could help on the long-term deficit picture," Orszag said. Elmendorf delivered a serious blow last week to the House effort, along with a separate Senate health committee bill, when he testified that the measures could raise long-term health costs.

Orszag also said the White House is open to a proposal by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), a Finance Committee member, to tax insurers for very generous health policies. The idea is a variation on a provision that Baucus, Grassley and others on the committee had pushed: to tax beneficiaries who receive generous policies through their employers.

Obama staunchly opposed taxing beneficiaries as a candidate, and on Monday he threatened to veto a bill that targets individuals. But Orszag said the White House was open to the Kerry alternative, noting a fee on high-value policies would "create an incentive for companies to create more efficient plans."

A senior House leadership aide said Democratic lawmakers there were keenly interested in the Kerry provision, along with other revenue measures with consensus support in the Finance Committee, to replace the wealth surtax that Baucus and others have already declared dead on arrival. "Our guys want to see some movement there," the aide said. "They're loath to vote on a tax increase if it is not going anywhere in the Senate."

link


Health-Insurer Tax Gets Intense Look in Senate, Lawmakers Say






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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-07-09 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
4. So tax the insurance companies
who will in turn pass the cost over to consumers, let me think this over....hmmmmmm.....
yep! that'll work.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-07-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. How are they going to do that
if premiums are capped and they're taxed on anything over the going rate?

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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-07-09 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I'm not so sure I like
the idea, the insurance companies have shown on many occasions not to be trusted,
whenever government tax a corporate entity they always pass it over to consumers
and even if its capped they can still find a way.

These CEO's cannot be trusted.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-07-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I understand the concern, but
they can't do that by increasing premiums, the very thing that will increase the amount of tax they will have to pay.

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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-07-09 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
8. Senator Baucus meet the Democratic Caucus of the House of Representatives


now who do you think is going to win that tug of war?
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