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Kerry, Rockefeller working on changes to Baucus' bill; voting to begin on Tuesday

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:29 PM
Original message
Kerry, Rockefeller working on changes to Baucus' bill; voting to begin on Tuesday

Democrats hit proposed new tax on insurance plans

By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON Unhappy Senate Democrats on Thursday found plenty to complain about in the fine print of the latest health overhaul bill, particularly a tax provision they fear would hit hard at middle-class Americans, from coal miners in West Virginia to firefighters in New York.

<...>

To pay for the 10-year, $856 billion bill Baucus wants to tax high-value insurance plans, those worth $21,000 for a family and $8,000 for an individual. Baucus says those are "Cadillac plans" enjoyed by a small minority of Americans. Aides said about 10 percent of plans and 8 percent of taxpayers could be affected.

But other Democratic senators fear that the tax would reach deep into middle-class pocketbooks, and labor unions are upset. Two Democrats on the Finance Committee, Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, along with other senators, say they want to limit the tax before signing off on the bill.

"We need to make it fairer to working people so that working folks don't get dragged into this at a level where they just don't have the incomes to support it," Kerry told reporters after a closed-door committee meeting to discuss the bill. The panel will begin voting on the bill Tuesday.

link


Finance Cmte Dems key to reform bill

From NBC's Ken Strickland

Members of the Senate Finance Committee met today to talk through some of the details the healthcare bill they'll start voting on next week. And 24 hours after the bill was introduced nothing's really changed: most Republican don't like it, liberal Democrats want the public option in it, and moderate Democrats think it's a good starting point, but won't commit their support.

Sen. John Kerry sized up the Democrats' position best when he talked to reporters after today's meeting. They have to pass a bill.

"Are there some pieces in it I disagreed with? Yes," Kerry said. "And we're going to try and work on those." But he quickly added, "We're going to get a bill done, one way or the other. We will make changes in it.... but we will get a bill out of this committee."

While some Democrats on the panel are clearly unhappy with the bill, the bill pretty much HAS to be passed out of the Finance Committee in order for there to be a health-care reform bill at all. The committee has jurisdiction over taxes and revenue; Medicare and Medicaid; fees and subsidies.

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent! I wish one of those men were in the gang from the get-go.
Baucus and Conrad proved their uselessness.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. Same here - and I do not think their exclusion was accidental
Rockefeller heads the Health subcommittee and Kerry has always been the most liberal Senator on the committee in addition to being one of the more persuasive and respected. Either of them would have greatly changed the dynamics of the gang. In fact, Kerry and Snowe worked together very well on the Small Business Committee. I suspect that they - not Baucus and Conrad - could have formed a real effort to get a bill that could be accepted by the conservative Democrats and a very small number of Republicans.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. Baucus bill is the worst piece of healthcare legislation I've seen in 30 years
Howard Dean: "Baucus bill is the worst piece of healthcare legislation I've seen in 30 years."

Baucus bill should be DOA!
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Howard Dean:
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Howard Dean BLASTS Baucus's Crappy Health Bill!!
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/9/17/783349/-How... !!

Your OP was about the Baucus bill--which has no public option and which mandates people to purchase health insurance, even if they can't afford it. You are stepping on your own OP, unless Obama is endorsing Baucus bill (which would be big news to all of us).
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Baucus' bill is lousy, but I doubt Howard Dean disapproves of Kerry and Rockefeller's efforts
to fix the bill.

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
15. True - especially as passing SOMETHING out of this committee is necessary
I hope that they will be able to get some real changes to make the effort to merge with HELP easier. The fact is they might have the leverage to do it if enough of the other Democrats on the committee back them.

Looked at as a "game", this is fascinating - (By game - I am speaking of game theory, which tries to model these complicated interactions - not that it is not serious. It is incredibly important.)

Baucus and Conrad both need a bill to come out of that committee because otherwise they will be the 2 most blamed for defeating health care reform. Clearly Conrad intended co-ops to make him the "hero", but it has very little support.

The liberal Democrats have had real healthcare reform as a goal for over 50 years. This is likely our best chance -with 60 Senators (or 59 if MA can't replace Teddy), the House and the Presidency. In addition the economic downturn last year very likely showed many who thought they were secure, that they do risked the lost of the job that gave them health insurance. They need a bill out of this committee so things can move on.

The Republicans (other than Snowe) might be almost non-players if they are just going to vote no to any likely plan. (The possibility that Baucus and enough Democrats would move significantly to the right to create a bill that they and Republicans could vote out seems unlikely.) The Republicans would be fine with the bill dying in committee.

Given these three things I can see why Kerry, earlier, spoke of this as becoming a "tug of war" in the mark up. What is clear is the tug of war will be between the two Democratic groups with the Republicans as bystanders. But both of these groups absolutely need to get a bill out of committee - more than they need anything else. Snowe's comments in an article today are interesting - the question would be if she could more easily find common ground with Rockefeller and Kerry than with Baucus and Conrad. If Snowe's concerns line up with those of the quiet conservative Democarts, this could be very interesting.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Well said.
Given these three things I can see why Kerry, earlier, spoke of this as becoming a "tug of war" in the mark up. What is clear is the tug of war will be between the two Democratic groups with the Republicans as bystanders. But both of these groups absolutely need to get a bill out of committee - more than they need anything else. Snowe's comments in an article today are interesting - the question would be if she could more easily find common ground with Rockefeller and Kerry than with Baucus and Conrad. If Snowe's concerns line up with those of the quiet conservative Democarts, this could be very interesting.


Snowe is also on the like here. I can't see her being an obstacle to health care given the level of support the public option enjoys in Maine.

Still, she's a Republican, and typically that doesn't matter.

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jenmito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. K&5thR! Rockefeller said the bill MUST have a public option!
:bounce:
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. And he was apparently "very happy" when he left the meeting with the POTUS yesterday. NT
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jenmito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I know-I heard him say it! n/t
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. Sane Guys to the Rescue. . .KICK AND REC n/t
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JimWis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
10. Good.
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
11. They have their work cut out for them
turning this thing into something decent
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Yes, they do.
I'm sure they can handle it, though.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
12. Thanks for the update on the work
being done by Kerry and Rockefeller.
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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. K & R - Thanks for the update!
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
18. I think John "Teddie would compromise" Kerry should not get involved.
I don't trust him. He'll sign just about anything, going by his prior statements.

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