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"in two weeks, for the first time in history, Senate could be debating a health care reform bill"

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:54 AM
Original message
"in two weeks, for the first time in history, Senate could be debating a health care reform bill"
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/20...

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE GETS TO WORK.... It's several months later than expected, but the Senate Finance Committee will get together this morning and start actually doing the heavy lifting on crafting a health care reform bill.

To help grease the skids, Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) made some improvements to his bill late yesterday, in the hopes of securing additional support from Democrats who'd been locked out of Baucus-led negotiations all summer.

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, said Monday that he would modify his health care bill to provide more assistance to moderate-income Americans to help them buy insurance. Mr. Baucus also said he would make changes to reduce the impact of a proposed tax on high-end health insurance policies. <...>

Mr. Baucus said he believed the changes would "help smooth the way for passage" of the bill in the Finance Committee, where he will try to navigate through critics on the left and the right.



The devil, of course, is still in the details, but Baucus at least seems like he's moving in the right direction. He didn't say specifically how much he would, for example, improve subsidy levels for the middle class, but Baucus conceded the subsidies "will clearly be more generous." The NYT added, "He said he wanted to reduce the maximum amount that moderate-income Americans would have to pay in premiums under the legislation to less than 12 percent of income." Baucus' framework from last week eyed 13%, which suggests his improvement is slight, but progress is progress.

Baucus still isn't going for a public option, though he expressed renewed interest yesterday in the Snowe "trigger" idea. Baucus also signaled a willingness to reduce penalties for those who refuse to get insurance.

Time's Karen Tumulty had a helpful overview of what to look out for as the Finance Committee rolls up its sleeves on Baucus' proposal: "It faces hundreds of amendments, promising a tug of war between the left and the right that will be the best test yet of whether this legislation has any chance of ever reaching the President's desk."

Tumulty added that Baucus is "moving with uncharacteristic speed." In terms of the calendar, that's heartening -- the chairman thinks it's possible an amended version of the reform bill could be approved as early as this week. At that point, the Senate leadership would begin merging it with the Senate HELP bill that passed in July.

A spokesperson for the Senate Majority Leader said a bill could be on the Senate floor in early October. In other words, in just two weeks, for the first time in history, the Senate could be debating a health care reform bill.


-Steve Benen
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. the finest bill corporate bribes can buy, from the finest corporate prostitutes lol nt
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. So I take it you've seen the final product? Got a link? nt
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Have you?
If you are free to assume this bill will be good sight unseen, the opposite must also be permitted. Just such a tired argument. Promote it, and then when others voice criticism, claim it is too early to have an opinion. Ironic.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. What part of 'could' in the title didn't you comprehend? And too bad
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 09:46 AM by babylonsister
if you're tired of the speculation-it's been going on for months. If you don't like it, don't read it.

:boring:
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Whadda know...another drive by from the
toxic waste land.
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Czar One Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
2. Mad Max 4(sale): Beyond Blunderdom
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branders seine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. it depends on what the meaning of the word "reform" is
to paraphrase a former "free market" President
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
8. Yes, a lot of people have doing tremendous amounts
of work to get this done in spite of all the rw fearmongers and the fail pushers.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
9. I'm taking October 15th off from work, I know that! NT
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