Reading the Baucus bill

Ok, scanning the Baucus bill is the truth. Here’s the text I read, um, scanned. It’s really cumbersome.

So frankly, I’m relying upon others who have read this thing.

One thing I noticed was this version includes a tax on premium health insurance plans as a method of raising revenue. But then I read where labor leaders aren’t pleased. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees isn’t pleased. Now isn’t it funny that these Democratic supporters are unhappy with sweeping reform? I haven’t seen anyone put it in print, but I can only assume it’s because both of these groups have health care insurance at the level that would be taxed. I would also assume educators enjoy that same level of coverage.

Years and years ago I remember sitting in on school board meetings at our small Catholic grade school. The teachers pitched a fit every time the board tried to move their health care insurance coverage more in line with the regular marketplace. I’ve always paid co-pays for everything; they didn’t know what a co-pay even was. For some reason premium health care insurance had always been a benefit for this employment group.

How interesting the very groups advocating for me to share my wealth when electing Barack Obama is unwilling to share their own.

It’s kind of what Republicans tried to explain pre-election. Really, there’s no bright line dividing who the lawmakers will screw and who they will protect. Like it or now, we’re all in this together now.


  1. Randy in Richmond says:

    A few other ‘highlights’.

    >If you choose not to get healthcare or pay the fee (tax) which can be up to $1900/individual or $3800/family, could be a misdemeanor, up to year in jail or $25,000 penalty. And who enforces this-the IRS.

    >Millions of seniors or disabled will lose benefits if they are on the Medicare Advantage plans.

    >Caps are to be removed on policies which sounds great, but who will pay for this?

    >There is rationing.

    And another interesting note: The administration, to reinforce their argument for the need to offer public health care, started out stating there were 47 million people uninsured. Their count now is 30 million people. If we can continue this debate until the first of the year it appears that problem will be solved.

    A recent Gallup Poll shows 80% of Americans are satisfied with their health care (39% very satisfied). And 61% are satisfied with the cost of their health.

  2. The Lorax says:

    Randy, none of those points were factual. Reference lines in the bill and I’ll believe you. Yes, i’ve read it.

    How interesting the very groups advocating for me to share my wealth when electing Barack Obama is unwilling to share their own.

    The protest is to taxing healthcare benefits, much the same way a lot of people protest taxing social security benefits. Why? Other funding derivations might raise capital in a less, as you say, cumbersome way.

  3. J. Strupp says:

    “A recent Gallup Poll shows 80% of Americans are satisfied with their health care (39% very satisfied). And 61% are satisfied with the cost of their health.”

    That’s great news. Let’s keep everything the same.

    Sorry but you can’t be a fiscal conservative and advocate the current health care system as is. I mean, you can, but it’s contradictory and hypocritical.

  4. Randy in Richmond says:

    No, not hypocritical if what’s being proposed will cost more-which it is.

  5. The Lorax says:

    All the plans are deficit neutral.

  6. J. Strupp says:

    It is hypocritical if you advocate the current system.

    The Gallup Poll which was referenced asks people if they’re satisfied with their health care. I’m really happy that they are happy. But the system’s unsustainable so who cares.

    Hell, I’m sure UAW workers were really happy with their benefits 20 years ago too. I’m sure rich people were happy with the Bush tax cuts a few years back.

  7. Lorax, no, all the plans are NOT deficit neutral. Get it right or keep quiet.

    Plus, if you’ve read it, you’d already know where those items are. I saw everything except rationing in my quick run through this morning. No doubt it’s there and I missed it.

    I’ll remind everyone that neither one of us have actually read THE BILL because the bill doesn’t exist, just the Chairman Mark, or summary, is disclosed.

  8. J. Strupp says:

    I don’t know about deficit neutral there Lorax.

    If we can put an effective plan in place for, say, trillion dollars over 10 years that would be acceptable to me. As long as one of the primary objectives of the plan is to flatten out the rate of change in rising health care costs. That’s essential. A certain level of deficit spending IS sustainable long term. The fiscal burden our current health care system puts on our country is certainly not.

  9. Randy in Richmond says:
  10. The Lorax says:

    Like I said, cite specific lines and I will believe it.

    Why? Because just sending links doesn’t prove anything. For example, the folks over at New Republic say, “The Baucus health care “reform” bill … includes abortion subsidies and mandates.”

    Except that’s not true.

  11. Randy in Richmond says:

    I didn’t link the New Republic. And Lorax, I’m not going to play your game.

  12. I’m not either. I will say that one can easily find it all in a few minutes under the summary text linked in the original post. Often the info is in the bold paragraph titles.

    Re: abortion: Yes, technically, the Baucus version still allows for funding for abortion under the same guidelines the gov’t currently funds abortions. No, it does not allow for every abortion.

    Lorax, I’m not sure if you are being obnoxious or lazy, but neither trait is much admired.

  13. The Lorax says:

    I meant the Free Republic, sorry. Since when was this a competition for admiration? I could say the same, but I assumed it went without saying.

    The fee is in the bill. I didn’t see anything about “rationing” (what does that even mean?), or cutting Medicare.

    But then again, you are from the same camp that believed in Death Panels and birthers.

  14. “The fee is in the bill” is a far cry from “none of those points were factual.”

    The fee is in the bill, abortion is in the bill, I’m beginning to think you really don’t know what’s in this plan, but are happy to spout the required talking points.

    Pop off someplace else. Come back when you’ve done your homework.