Senator Baucus (D-MT) finally unleashed his bill which is mostly a giveaway to the healthcare industry. Re-releasing this post to remind everyone what’s in the bill.
- The plan has no Public Option with possible co-ops or triggers in it’s place. The bad fact is this is not the worst part of the “gang of six” plan.
- Instead of direct subsidies like the other legislation passed in Congress Baucus’ plan has tax credits and ungenerous tax credits to help families pay premiums. Instead of families up to $88,000 in income paying 10% maximum on healthcare premiums in the other bills in congress, Baucus would have families pay 13%. Meanwhile people who get their income through unemployment insurance or disability would not even get a subsidy under Baucus’ plan.
- Buying healthcare insurance would be mandatory. For universal healthcare you need some mandates but the fines Baucus is discussing are three fold larger (up to $3,800/year) than in other bills where fines are more or less an incentive to buy insurance.
- Instead of taxing the rich the “gang of six” wants to tax and fine healthcare insurers and providers. Sure some of the revenue should come from those sources but other plans rightly tax the rich.
- 60 year olds would be charged 5 times more than 20 year olds. While you would not let a population that is inherently younger and healthier pay more than an older population that statistically has more health problems that factor is ridiculous.
- Baucus even water down the concept of an “insurance exchange”. Instead of people automatically paying group rates only some uninsured people will get to pay similar rates to group rates. The whole individual and small business premium rate cartel is one of the huge injustices in our system.
So far who have spoken have panned the bill. Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) who is on the Finance Committee has already said he would not vote for the bill in it’s present form.
“I have sat besides Max Baucus for 22 years on the Finance Committee. …I’m probably one of his best friend among Democrats. But I cannot agree with him on this bill. … There is no way in present form I will vote for it. Therefore, I will not vote for it unless it changes during the amendment process by vast amounts.”
Read more at “Fines proposed for going without health insurance”.
Read the summary of the Baucus bill here “Framework for Comprehensive Healthcare Reform”.