The Agony of Irony: Baucus's Alleged Health Reform Bill Flops

submitted by: admin on 07/17/2024

America’s tepid response so far to Senator Max Baucus’s $776-billion health-care reform bill also points to the many bitter ironies facing “centrist” reformers. Here are just a few...

• First, a large plurality of Congressional Democrats secretly support single-payer insurance; and polls show that more than half of Americans approve of it. Yet Baucus entirely excluded testimony on the subject to his Senate Finance Committee. This led to embarrassing arrests in June—in his own chamber—of activist physicians and nurses and other advocates, now known as the “Baucus 13.” Later he apologized to them for his behavior:

• Second: over sixty percent of Americans support the next best idea, the public option. Baucus took testimony on this idea favored by Obama, but entirely excluded it from his bill, unlike the bills of all other Congressional health committees. Yet almost no one, politician or expert alike, thinks his insurance co-op idea will work—not even Republicans:

• Third, in order achieve bipartisanship, Baucus carved out of his committee the “Gang of Six”—a group “balanced” with his selection of three Democrats and three Republicans. In so doing, he excluded and alienated key liberals like Jay Rockefeller; and yet, not one of the Gang’s three Republican members said they would vote for the final result! Worse, the bill also alienated many Democrats:

And finally, this bill took months to finalize, and is now being taken up by the full Senate Finance Committee—but the wider committee has have already drafted more than 500 amendments! One wonders what Baucus and his “Gang” got out of this process. Could a total of $14 million in legalized health industry bribes to committee members explain it?

Could it be that we are still right that Senator Baucus should resign? See It's Time for Senator Max Baucus to Resign

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