Baucus balks on health care again

by

This time perhaps for the better:

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee,Max Baucus, said Monday that he would modify his health care bill to provide more generous assistance to moderate-income Americans, to help them buy insurance.

“Affordability — that, I think, is the primary concern,” Mr. Baucus said. “We want to make sure that if Americans have to buy insurance, it’s affordable.”

Just as long as there is some private insurer who reaps a benefit from the cash transfer, Baucus is OK with slightly higher government spending.

Max Baucus is almost as unbearable as Joe Lieberman. If health care reform is as much of a failure as he would like it to be, what I would like to see is a grass roots movement to field “health care” candidates in the 2010 mid-term elections. Candidates aren’t even necessary – perhaps just a campaign to get would-be Democratic voters to write in “Universal Health Care” on their ballots. If there was a sizable portion of the electorate did just that, then maybe the party would realize that there are certain values that voters expect to be included in the agenda when they elect Democrats. Then maybe they’d get that there are certain goals, although sometimes controversial, are worth fighting for.

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5 Responses to “Baucus balks on health care again”

  1. Paul Axel Says:

    As I graded his bill in my blog earlier last week, I did point out that while the bill met more than a few of the details Obama set out in his speech, it really fails to provide insurance for those who currently have none or slow the growth of costs, which are the two biggest goals of reform. He seemed to try to put the cart before the horse by making his bill the cheapest presented yet. A far more effective plan should start at that $900 billion mark and work its costs down year by year, instead of trying to make a bill appealing by keeping its initial costs low.

    It’s better to have too much money going to a program at the outset and reduce through careful application, than start with too little money, and keep tossing cash in to cover new costs.

  2. Patrick Says:

    Please, realize that the MT that comes at the end of Baucus (D-MT) stands for Montana. Montana Democrats are not the same as Wisconsin or Chicago or New Jersey Democrats. It is just a different culture of politics out there. Their state legislature only is in session for 90 days (January through April) every two years. We take longer than that to pass our budget. Until people come to realize this fundamental fact that not all Democrats nationally think the same way as the Democrats they are used to do they are going to continue to be frustrated with certain legislators like Baucus and their votes.

  3. Ordinary Jill Says:

    I wonder how much money we could save/raise for health care if we ended the war on drugs, legalized and taxed marijuana, cocaine and opiates? As an added bonus, it would help us rebuild Afghanistan’s agricultural economy and remove a major source of funding for the Taliban.

  4. Steve Horn Says:

    Patrick:

    This is not a political issue. This is an issue that defies political parties. That said, Max Baucus has no spine and the Democrats should all be ashamed of themselves.

  5. The Sconz Says:

    Jill, unlike most people who fantasize about the legalization of marijuana, I am particularly excited about the tax revenue it could generate. And I believe it could generate a lot, especially in different states and localities. If we legalized marijuana we could avoid the same mistakes we made with tobacco and tax it heavily from the beginning.

    And Patrick, you are right to a certain extent, but Montana is probably not as conservative as you think. Its other senator, Jon Tester, ran on a pretty adamantly liberal agenda, including unabashed support for abortion rights. It is very different from its rigidly right wing mountain neighbors, Idaho and Wyoming.

    And I guarantee you this: Baucus has been in D.C. for a hell of a long time. He has been exposed to D.C. liberalism much more than Montana politics in the past three decades. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and it has little to do with allegiance to some mountain values.

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