Tag Archives: public option

If Olympia Had Been a Man, Max Baucus Would Be a Snowe Blower

From Ezra Klein at The Washington Post:

The list of senators charged with merging the Finance and HELP bills into the legislation that will actually come to a vote on the Senate floor is vanishingly small, and every participant is there for a reason. Harry Reid will preside. Max Baucus, chairman of the Finance Committee, will be one of the chief negotiators. Chris Dodd, who led the HELP Committee’s health-care efforts, will be the other. And that’s about it. Oh, except for one other person:

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid, said that Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, the lone Republican on the Finance Committee to vote in favor of the bill, would be invited to future sessions. And Mr. Manley said the Democratic leader was prepared to go to substantial lengths to keep Ms. Snowe’s support.

“He is prepared to do what he can to keep her on board while putting together a bill that can get the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster,” Mr. Manley said.

Democrats really want this bill to be bipartisan — to the point that they’re giving the Republican a space in the negotiations equivalent to the chairmen of the two relevant committees.


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Betsy and the Bubbleheads

From TALKING POINTS MEMO:

In a heated and sometimes vitriolic debate Monday night, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) repeatedly called out former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey for lying about health care reform. He said debating her was like “debating a pyromaniac in a straw man factory,” prompting intense and immediate reaction from the audience.

“Debate like a man!” hollered one bespectacled, middle-aged man. Another quieted the ensuing shouts with, “This is his speaking time, not yours!”

Weiner and McCaughey arguably represent the furthest ends of the health care reform spectrum. Weiner is a progressive Congressman who wants a single-payer, government run health care system. McCaughey, who recently posited that reform may lead to government-mandated euthanasia, helped kill the Clintons’ health care plan in the 90s.


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Betsy Bubblegum and some of her gal pals: Michele Batshit Bachmann, Virginia Gummint’ll Kill Ya Foxx, Ginny Drop Dead Brown-Waite, and Princess Sarah Death Panel Palin
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The Baucus Caucus

From The Washington Post:

Two amendments considered, and defeated, Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee both aimed to get to the same place — creating a government-sponsored alternative to private insurance — but by different routes.

The first, sponsored by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), proposed a program that would piggyback on Medicare for the first two years as it got underway.


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(Clockwise from left corner:  Blanche Walmart Lincoln, Kent Co-op Conrad, Max Blue Cross Baucus, Tom Carping Carper, and Bill Lost In Space Nelson)

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Let ’em eat cake? Hell, let ’em hope the rich people left some crumbs!

From Brent Budowsly at THE HILL:

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wins the award for why Republican favorable numbers on healthcare are barely above 20 percent. Mr. Cantor was recently asked what a woman with stomach cancer should do if she did not have the insurance to pay huge medical costs.

Here is the Cantor plan for middle-income Americans who may have lost their health insurance after being laid off by a company whose CEO might be making a million dollars a year. First, she should sell all of her lifetime possessions to desperately pay humongous medical costs, with the side benefit that this would make her poor, and therefore qualify for health programs for the poor that many Republicans don’t support. If this fails, Mr. Cantor advises the woman to do this: beg.


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‘Roid Rage

Hey kids! Remember the Singing Senators? They broke up after Trent Lott pulled a Sarah Palin resigned, and Larry Craig tapped his Buster Browns in the wrong men’s room. Well, according to me my anonymous sources, a few of the musical Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee have formed a new group! They’re called Pink ‘Roids. No, not these kinds of roids, the kind you need this stuff for. I’m guessing they picked that name, because they’re always so red and irritated and angry. Anyway, they have a new video out! They really rock!

pinkfloydcornynensignhatchgrassleyb

(back row, left to right: John Cornyn (R-Easter Island [see below]), John Romeo Ensign, Orrin Down The Hatch, Chuck Your Ass Is Grassley. front row: Jim ZZZZZ Bunning)

To the tune of Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd)”:

We don’t need no legislation
Break Obama: that’s our goal
We love each campaign donation
Listen as we bitch and moan
Hey! Congress! Leave Cigna alone!
All in all, we’re gonna just continue to stall.
Overall it’s just another game of beanball.

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

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Insurance Companies Get the MAXimum Bang for Their Buck

From THINK PROGRESS:

Earlier this morning Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) unveiled his committee’s health care bill, which has no public option and mandates that everyone buy insurance. While Baucus has failed to garner support from any congressional Republicans and has outraged progressives, there has been one very positive response to his proposal.

Following Baucus’ announcement, HealthNet shares increased by 3%, United Health Group Inc shares rose by 2.7%, Humana Inc. grew by 2.6%, Wellpoint stock gained 1.7% and Aetna Inc rose 1.6%


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There’s no cure for selfishness

From Joe Conason at Salon:

Sept. 11, 2009 | In the lyrical conclusion of President Obama’s speech on healthcare, he talked about the emotions and experiences that drove his late friend Sen. Edward Kennedy to work so tirelessly and passionately for universal coverage. He tried to describe what Kennedy must have felt as two of his children suffered through bouts of cancer. Ordeals such as those, said the president, had helped Kennedy to understand the “sheer terror and helplessness” of parents whose children are stricken by serious disease, and lack the means to save them.

Reaching out to his opponents, the president tried to emphasize that such empathy toward other human beings “is not a partisan feeling,” but is instead an aspect of our national character.

…snip…

To support that reassuring observation, he cited the landmark bills that Kennedy’s Republican colleagues have co-sponsored in years past to extend healthcare to children and protect hospital patients. As he said, Americans of all parties (and none) surely possess the capacity for compassion.

But why then do nearly all of the Republicans in Congress find it so difficult to empathize with the tens of millions of their uninsured and underinsured fellow citizens — and so easy to contemplate the ruin of reform yet again, even though that means condemning hundreds of thousands to sickness, bankruptcy and even death? Why would they still insist, after 40 successful years of Medicare, that government must have no further role in ensuring decent healthcare for every American?

Perhaps the problem is that a certain kind of Republican — often with a connection to the White House or Capitol Hill — will only endorse government action to remedy the adversity they have experienced for themselves.


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The ‘Put Health Care Reform to Death’ Panel

From The Washington Post:

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is urging three Republican colleagues to sign off on the $900 billion health-care reform package they have helped to negotiate over the past two months, in order to add a bipartisan proposal to the mix before President Obama’s speech to Congress on Wednesday.

The Baucus plan, circulating among the Finance Committee’s “Gang of Six” this weekend, sets forth provisions that have already gained the bipartisan group’s unofficial support and adds nothing that the group has not already deliberated, senior Senate aides said. But Democrats are wary that two of the three GOP negotiators — Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) and Mike Enzi (Wyo.) — could walk away, under pressure from their Republican colleagues to allow Democrats to fight for a bill on their own.


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