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Ezra Klein: 5 Ways To Improve Max Baucus' Bill....

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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:04 AM
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Ezra Klein: 5 Ways To Improve Max Baucus' Bill....
Yes, the public option is one of them. I thought this was more important, because it applies to *everything* Congress will do, not only healthcare. (And in all essentials, it implies the public option besides.)

5) Create incentives for bipartisanship. This bill was built amid a long, bipartisan promise. Baucus made real concessions to attract votes from his Republican colleagues. He made the bill cheaper, and eliminated the public option, and strengthened the protections against federal funding of abortions and benefits for illegal immigrants, and built in hard funding mechanisms that actually improve the deficit. Everything Republicans originally wanted is in this bill. It is, in fact, a moderate Republican bill. It looks like nothing so much as the bill Republican Senator John Chafee Sr. proposed in 1994.

At this time, Baucus has no Republican votes for his legislation. Olympia Snowe is a maybe, and Enzi and Grassley are pretty certain to vote against it. Conceding so much in return for so little isn't just bad politics -- it's bad precedent. Why should Republicans sign onto Baucus's proposals in the future if they can simply adjust the bill to their liking and then withhold their support at the end?

If Baucus's Republican colleagues want to support this bill and give him some cover, their presence should be welcomed. But if not, Baucus should loudly and publicly allow the Democrats on his committee to strengthen the bill, as it will be a Democratic majority that passes the bill. A bipartisan group should shape a bipartisan bill. But a bipartisan group should not get to shape a partisan bill, particularly if that bill becomes partisan because they have abandoned it.

In 2001, Baucus helped shape the president's tax cuts, and he voted for them. In 2003, he helped shape the Medicare Modernization Act, and he voted for it. He has upheld his end of the bargain of bipartisanship. Now is his moment to demand the same of his Republican colleagues.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:27 AM
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1. In one way, I admire Baucus.

Now we're running around figuring out how to cut and shape it?

Why didn't WE put EVERYTHING WE WANT INTO OUR HEALTH CARE BILL? Why did we give away the store before we even started?

Baucus has the brass balls WE should have had. And I hope he chokes on them.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:44 PM
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2. :) That's another way to arrive at the precise point of Klein's that I highlighted.
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