Peak Bipartisanship

We got your bipartisanship right here. Everyone hates the Baucus plan, which appears to be little more than an opportunity to revitalize the Republican party in the eyes of younger voters and the middle class. Basically, your options in American politics right now are evil and stupid (R) or spineless and stupid (D).

You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie Baucus.

On the upside, Humana, Wellpoint, and United Health group are getting a nice little boost in their stock price today. No one could have predicted






106 replies
  1. 1
    Sid Viscous says:

    Baucus = BilkUs.

  2. 2
    WereBear says:

    Yeah, that’s why I’m still voting spineless & stupid.

    However, I do believe the DC culture (and then the idiot flood on the town halls) are designed to make D’s feel like they are surrounded, when it’s really just a prank phone call.

  3. 3
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    BAucus is a legend in his own mind. Which is a scattershot of space cadet and free associative wingnuttery.

    After Snowe drops the hammer on no way can she vote for the “bi-partisan bill” he wanks that she and other wingers will vote for it in markup. I really doubt it survives a majority vote to get sent to the floor, unless heavily amended. Then we’ll see Harry Reid’s true colors (yellow) again, if he brings it up anyways.

    What a waste of oxygen and political capital Barrack. Please let this be a teaching moment that the GOP White Whale of playing straight doesn’t exist for this period of the American experience.

  4. 4

    Not to be a smartass, but I’m not getting what the implication of the WaPo article about young people is supposed to be.

  5. 5
    ellaesther says:

    I am delighted that WordPress has realized that the phrase “evil and stupid,” in reference to the Republican party, should be a registered trademark.

  6. 6
    gypsy howell says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Young adults will pay a disproportionate share, thereby ensuring they will despise the new plan, blame the democrats for it as they rightly should, and vote republican for the rest of their lives.

    SATSQ

  7. 7

    Max Baucus is the Charlie McCarthy of the HMO and Big Pharma racket. And astroturfers are still screaming “socialism.”

    Stoopid. No other words suffice. Not “ignorant” or “misinformed” but just plain old “stoopid.”

  8. 8
    dr. bloor says:

    I like the way the word processor automatically the “R” in paretheses to the copyright label. Evil and Stupid is indeed the trademark of the Republican party at this point.

  9. 9
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Wait. So this bill is a travesty because… the uninsured will buy insurance?

    Isn’t that the whole point?

  10. 10
    dr. bloor says:

    Beaten by ellaesther, and a typo to boot. Rats.

  11. 11
    Trinity says:

    Greg Sargent gets it exactly right on this one.

    http://theplumline.whorunsgov....../#comments

  12. 12
    Sentient Puddle says:

    I now await the likes of David Broder and his ilk to praise the legislation because you got people on both sides hating it. Which clearly means it’s a reasonable centrist compromise.

    You know it’s going to happen.

  13. 13
    freelancer says:

    With the Country whinging over the right wing’s obsession with race and just blatant bigotry, Obama could have Kerry dust off HL 3200, pass it through reconciliation, and when he signs the bill into law add a provision that the single payer / public option part of the bill only be good for “Coloreds Only”.

    He could then sit back and smile as Real America tears itself to shreds in apoplectic rage.

  14. 14
    Legalize says:

    OT, but my feared lack of tomatoes this year has turned into an infestation of tomatoes that I fear will go bad if I don’t do something quick. If anyone has a tangy / spicy tomato salsa recipe suitable for canning, I would appreciate it. I have plenty of fresh jalapenos that I am also looking to include in the recipe.

    Thanks!

  15. 15
    harlana pepper says:

    OT, but when did anyone boo Bush during a State of the Union (per Michael Steele), I don’t recall that

  16. 16
    ellaesther says:

    @dr. bloor: You gotta move fast, man!

    But don’t worry about the typos. I’m the Queen.

  17. 17
    Apsaras says:

    Holy spumoni, I just got it. Max Baucus is a genie, one of those ironic monkey’s-paw style genies who screw with you. A real Mr. Mxyzptlk sonofabitch. “You wished for a bi-partisan bill, and you got it! Everyone hates it! Now you need a billion bucks to pay for it? Ok, here comes the biggest herd of deer you’ve ever seen in your life! Hoo-hoo-hoo!”

    Somebody needs to get the word out before some poor man asks Max to “make him a sandwich.”

  18. 18
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Wait. So this bill is a travesty because… the uninsured will buy insurance?

    Isn’t that the whole point?

    No, that is not the whole point of health care reform, and the Baucus plan certainly isn’t anywhere near as simply or efficient as “the uninsured will buy insurance.” Clearly, you have not been following the issue too closely.

  19. 19
    Hunter Gathers says:

    This ‘bipartisan’ piece of shit bill has fulfilled it’s purpose. The GOP showed it’s hand. No votes. None at all on health care. No votes for Max’s Pile Of Crap, when the final product will look nothing like Max’s Pile Of Crap. Dumbasses.

  20. 20
    Bootlegger says:

    The “filibuster” isn’t even in the Constitution. Shouldn’t all these Constitutional Absolutists deplore its use to subvert the democratic majority? If the Constitution doesn’t say “60 votes”, how can they possibly construct the idea that the Senate must have 60 votes? Surely they must see the error in their logic and the inconsistency of their argument? Amiright? Surely. Also.

  21. 21
    Dork says:

    In other news, Orly Taitz just got another serious beatdown.

    I’m guessing judges dont like her all that much.

  22. 22

    @gypsy howell:

    But to point out what should be obvious, there’s no way around that. Any national healthcare plan that involves universality is also going to involve younger people bearing a disproportionate share of the cost, because that’s how insurance functions.

  23. 23
    jrg says:

    I’m going to start emailing Heather Graham, begging for sex. It would be no less sane (and just as effective) as Baucus’ efforts at bipartisanship.

  24. 24
    Tsulagi says:

    Basically, your options in American politics right now are evil and stupid® or spineless and stupid (D).

    Yep.

    But hey, Ds yesterday dug deep opening their whoopass can to tag a sternly worded resolution on Wilson’s ass. Of course, though, the guy will likely frame a copy of it and proudly hang it in his office.

  25. 25
    Badtux says:

    Can we just re-name this bill the “Protect Insurance Company Profits Act of 2009”? Please?

    I don’t mind a mandate saying I have to pay my way for healthcare. I despise deadbeats and have no desire to be one myself. But subsidizing these evil mofos in the insurance industry in order to guarantee their profits under penalty of law just sticks in my craw. Without a public option so I can avoid subsidizing these murdering bastards, my reaction is going to make the teabaggers look like, well, teabaggers.

    – Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

  26. 26
    SGEW says:

    @harlana pepper:

    . . . when did anyone boo Bush during a State of the Union[?]

    When Bush pushed for Social Security privatization in 2005, he claimed that Social Security would be “exhausted and bankrupt” by 2042. Democrats in Congress responded by saying “No,” along with associated murmuring and hubub. The video is here. FactCheck’s report on Bush’s claims here.

  27. 27
    SGEW says:

    @harlana pepper:

    . . . when did anyone boo Bush during a State of the Union[?]

    When Bush pushed for Social Security privatization in 2005, he claimed that Social Security would be “exhausted and bankrupt” by 2042. Democrats in Congress responded by saying “No,” along with associated murmuring and hubub. The video is here. FactCheck’s report on Bush’s claims here.

  28. 28
    SGEW says:

    @harlana pepper:

    . . . when did anyone boo Bush during a State of the Union[?]

    When Bush pushed for Social Security privatization in 2005, he claimed that Social Security would be “exhausted and bankrupt” by 2042. Democrats in Congress responded by saying “No,” along with associated murmuring and hubub. The video is here. FactCheck’s report on Bush’s claims here.

    [Encountered problems while commenting: apologies if double-posted.]

  29. 29
    SGEW says:

    Hmmm. Comment posting fail. Did I err?

  30. 30

    Great, we let the Republicans piss in the sandbox, can we PLEASE throw it in their eyes now?

  31. 31

    Great, we let the Republicans piss in the sandbox, can we PLEASE throw it in their eyes now?

  32. 32
    Ash Can says:

    @Hunter Gathers: I really think you might be onto something. Regardless of what Baucus’s personal motivation for this folderol was, his opus can now be showcased as The Reason Bipartisanship Doesn’t Work. Hell, if it’s making Jay Fucking Rockefeller hold his nose, I don’t see how it can get any further than the broom closets of the Capitol Hill johns.

  33. 33
    SGEW says:

    @harlana pepper:

    . . . did anyone boo Bush during a State of the Union[?]

    When Bush pushed for Social Security privatization in 2005, he claimed that it would be “exhausted and bankrupt” by 2042. Democrats in Congress responded by saying “No,” along with associated murmuring and hubub. No “boos” (nor shouts) where heard. The video is here. FactCheck’s report on Bush’s claims here.

    [Problems while commenting. Apologies if double-posted.]

  34. 34
    harlana pepper says:

    @jrg: Hey, I hear she’s into tantric sex. Quite similar to what’s been going one with Obama and republicans, except no orgasm at the end (no pun intended), just a cold shower.

  35. 35
    JHF says:

    “Bilkus,” I love it.

  36. 36
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I’d like to think I’ve been keeping up with this issue, although not as closely as some have. My point is that, from my understanding of things, getting the young and healthy to buy health insurance (and providing them with subsidies if they need them) seems to be the cornerstone of reform. It spreads the risks and costs over a larger pool, resulting in lower premiums for everyone, particularly those that most need care.

    I just don’t see how younger people ending up with insurance is a bug instead of a feature. There’s plenty to hate the Baucus bill over – it’s far worse than HR3200. But I don’t think the individual mandate is the problem.

  37. 37
    Bootlegger says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Yep, the hand was slapped away. Time to ball it into a fist.
    Makes me wonder if Baucus wasn’t pulling an acting job to give the Reps a chance to hang themselves with uber-partisanship.

  38. 38
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Ash Can: Baucus fucked up by keeping Rockefeller out of the ‘gang of six’. Rockefeller wants that committee chair. He’s going to roll Max.

  39. 39
    SGEW says:

    . . . did anyone boo Bush during a State of the Union[?]

    When Bush pushed for Social Security privatization in 2005, he claimed that it would be “exhausted and bankrupt” by 2042. Democrats in Congress responded by saying “No,” along with associated murmuring and hubub. No “boos” (nor shouts) where heard. The video is here. FactCheck’s report on Bush’s claims here.

    [Problems while commenting. For some reason WordPress really, really doesn’t like this comment (and even claims that I have already posted it . . . new double-posting protection?). If this comment suddenly appears several times, I duly apologize.]

  40. 40
    Alan says:

    As I said before. The Baucus bill was being written on ‘K’ Street. That’s the way our government works. If the Dems pass this bill it’ll only arm the RW talking heads with future government fuck ups proving government can’t do anything right. Thank you, assholes.

  41. 41
    Dork says:

    @jrg: Can you CC me on those emails, too? Just in case she wants a 3-way?

    Much thanks.

  42. 42
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    This ‘bipartisan’ piece of shit bill has fulfilled it’s purpose. The GOP showed it’s hand.

    This.

  43. 43
    jibeaux says:

    @Dork:

    I liked this part.

    In his order, Land states in a footnote that Obama defeated seven opponents in a “grueling” primary campaign that cost the contenders more than $300 million. Obama then moved on to the general election, where he faced Sen. John McCain, who Land states got $84 million to wage his campaign.“It would appear that ample opportunity existed for discovery of evidence that would support any contention that the president was not eligible for the office he sought,” Land says.

    People need to get sanctioned for this kind of crap. Courts are overburdened.

  44. 44
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I totally called this back when. We’ll get a terrible plan that will make all of us wish nothing had been done.

  45. 45
    jibeaux says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    I don’t think most people do.

    Rockefeller cited four main concerns: The lack of a public insurance option, changes to Medicaid, changes to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and overall affordability provisions.

  46. 46
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole:

    On the upside, Humana, Wellpoint, and United Health group are getting a nice little boost in their stock price today.

    Sounds like a good time to short them. I really don’t think the Baucus will pass in its present form. As Atrios noted the other day, the Democrats need a bill that is both effective and popular.

  47. 47
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    I remember reading a very funny book (Thank You and Okay: An American Zen Failure in Japan by David Chadwick) about an American who went off to study at a Zen Buddhist abbey in Japan. He was over 6 foot tall and the ancient building he was living in had low ceilings and large wooden crossbeams which hung down low enough that he kept smacking his head into them when he wasn’t paying attention and forgot to duck his head down – a problem which the sub-6-foot Japanese monks didn’t have. When he complained about the low hanging beams, the abbot replied “those beams are your teachers” (meaning in so many words: “stay more mindful of your surroundings, dumbass”).

    When it comes to the virtues of “bipartisanship”, Max Baucus is Obama’s teacher.

  48. 48
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I think the best we can hope for is to turn “Baucus” into a word indicating something very unplesant.

  49. 49
    Zoogz says:

    I’m still so crossing my fingers for the bait and switch, accompanied by what others have mentioned above…

    If the R’s won’t vote for this, which is pretty much the best deal they could possibly get from the health insurance reform, they won’t vote for anything.

    Therefore, this bill will fail, one of the FOUR other bills will get marked up and presented, and we can finally have a reasonable option.

    All I know though is that this issue has received so much attention for so long that I’d almost rather start hearing the debates about stricter financial regulations. Though the R’s will still say the same exact things as they did in the healthcare debate (“Free Market Rooolz!!1oneone”), at least the D’s will have something different to say for the first time in months.

  50. 50
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Like, for instance, I totally baucused the word “unpleasant”.

  51. 51
    Ryan says:

    I don’t know why you would consider it stupid for the major political parties to try do everything they can to appease their biggest campaign contributors.

    Corrupt as all hell? Yes.

    Stupid? No.

  52. 52
    Mark S. says:

    Is Snowe a dingbat? Along with the usual whining about how much it will cost, she’s also complaining that the subsidies aren’t generous enough. Since she is the only Republican vote to be had, what kind of game is she playing?

  53. 53
    Ash Can says:

    @Mark S.: Seeing as she hasn’t exactly established a pattern of being a frothing lunatic over the years, I have to wonder how much of this recalcitrance is her honest opinion and how much is a put-on for her party’s leadership.

  54. 54
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    I’m going to go off the Balloon-Juice reservation for minute and be optimistic.

    It’s dawning on me that this is a twofer for Obama: Not only does the GOP come off looking duplicitous and intransigent to the Beltway crowd and the rational public, but Baucus — the ultimate lobby jockey in this debate — has just been utterly humiliated. He looks like he got tooled, schooled, and overruled by his GOP pals, all while cobbling together an industry-friendly bill.

    Obama always made it clear during the campaign that breaking the lobbyists’ grip on the system would be painful. This is a potentially significant take-down if it serves to undermine Baucus’ power over what the final bill will look like.

    If the glass is half full, the way is being cleared for the House version (with public option) passed through reconciliation.

  55. 55
    Legalize says:

    It’s important to remember that Senators Kerry, Schumer and Rockefeller are pretty powerful Dems on this issue. There’s no way it’s getting out of Finance without their approval. They now have the leverage. I can’t imagine these Dems solidifying their legacies by letting this piece of shit out of committee in its current form.

  56. 56
    slag says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I like that.

    I’m going to be uncharacteristically optimistic here and suggest that, in spite of appearances, a good bill will come of all this. I have no empirical evidence for this optimism (and, certainly, history offers little comfort), but I want to say we may have indeed reached peak bipartisanship. Democrats have extended their hand as far as it will go, and it was rejected. Now is the time for that hand to deliver the long-overdue, much needed bitchslap. Hope–it’s not just for teabaggers any more.

  57. 57
    Riggsveda says:

    For a closer look at what Baucus’ plan would mean for people in hard numbers, try this:
    http://country2.blogspot.com/2.....ility.html

  58. 58
    kay says:

    Ugh. Worse than I thought. It’s 13% of gross for middle income. That’s about 700 a month for a family of four.

    I can’t figure out where they spent all that money, but I only went 25 pages in.

    I’m going to focus on the percentage of gross, because that’s how we’re calculating insurance mandates now, but we’re using 5% of gross. 13% is a lot. Where’d the 800 billion go?

  59. 59
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Baucus = BilkUs.

    I was thinking more like Bawk-Baucus, the cluckin’ chicken.

  60. 60
    jibeaux says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Please don’t rope Dan Savage into this. His definition of Santorum was, by design, nauseating beyond belief.

  61. 61
    4tehlulz says:

    So are we assuming that they’ll be no attempt to reconcile with the HELP committee’s bill?

  62. 62
    Sentient Puddle says:

    All snark aside, I too am actually pleasantly surprised at how this is playing out. I was always vehemently opposed to the individual mandate/no public option combo and was about ready to go ballistic if that made it through committee, but with all the right members on the committee calling this bill total crap, it clearly ain’t going anywhere.

    So right now, I don’t see Democrats weaseling out with the “pass something and call it a day” option. Which is a very good thing.

  63. 63
    kay says:

    @Riggsveda:

    Dear lord. 32% of gross for health insurance is reasonable?

    1/3 of family income to health insurance?

  64. 64
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    When it comes to the virtues of “bipartisanship”, Max Baucus is Obama’s teacher.

    I don’t believe this was ever a case of Obama failing to grasp the unwillingness of the GOP to respond in kind to bi-partisan outreach. I believe his m.o. has clearly been to be the first one to make the attempt, then stand back and let the GOP work their crazy and take the chance that most people will get the picture. Are there risks to that strategy? Sure. The Teabaggers were able to move public opinion a little — but then he shows up on the teevee, acts like a mature adult, and opinion swings back to him.

    The toughest job in show biz is being the straight-man: If you’re doing it right, the clowns get all the attention.

  65. 65

    To point out what should be obvious, this isn’t the final bill. Not by any stretch. To point out something even more obvious, FInance isn’t going to kick out anything good in total. The Senate Finance Committee is one of the more conservative committees in the entire Congress. In addition to the GOPers, you’ve got Blanche Lincoln, Kent Conrad, and Tom Carper, all of whom are arguably to the right of Baucus on healthcare reform. Assuming Baucus was going to draft something that might actually make it out of committee, it simply wasn’t going to be ideal. That said, the Baucus draft is in many respects a big victory for progressives. His version of the exchanges, for example, are larger than the House bill. That means that, as it relates to the main structural element of reform, Max Baucus probably just moved the final bill significantly to the left. Ditto for the “national plan.” So assuming the worst aspects of the bill are fixed by the full Senate/the House, this is really a good proposal from Finance.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Apsaras: “I wish I had no bones!”

  67. 67
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Polish the Guillotines:

    The toughest job in show biz is being the straight-man: If you’re doing it right, the clowns get all the attention.

    Yes, but this situation is a little different. Up till now, Obama has been in the position of using his rope-a-dope very effectively against folks who stood in clear opposition to him. But Baucus and the Blue Dogs (rock band name?) aren’t like that – their m.o. is more passive aggresive, so Obama will need some new tricks to get around them. He already knows how to deal with folks who are outside the tent pissing in. Now he needs to figure out how to deal with the folks who are inside the tent, pissing in the tent.

    And I think this is a learning experience for him. I have confidence he’ll get better at this over time – he clearly is a quick study and learns from his mistakes. But that process is also clearly still ongoing and hasn’t finished. I expect the Obama who retires from the WH and writes his memoirs will have some interesting things to say about what he learned during 2009, that he didn’t know before taking office.

  68. 68
    kay says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    “The Senate Finance Committee is one of the more conservative committees in the entire Congress. In addition to the GOPers, you’ve got Blanche Lincoln, Kent Conrad, and Tom Carper, all of whom are arguably to the right of Baucus on healthcare reform.”

    I’ll say. It charges 3% of gross to people at the poverty level.

    That was our problem all along, apparently. People who make minimum wage weren’t paying their “fair share”.

  69. 69
    kay says:

    I might have to look at the rest just to find out where the 800 billion went. It didn’t go to the insurance industry customers, who are dispensed with early on. They get hammered.
    Maybe there’s an enormous transfer payment to that industry on, like, page 224 of 225.

  70. 70
    Awesom0 says:

    If this has already been mentioned, then forgive me…

    So let me get this straight: According to the Baucus plan, an average family making roughly 66,000/year might have to pay around 700/month for health insurance.

    I’m sorry, but that is a MASSIVE burden.

    As my wife put it, “Who the hell is ever going to have kids under those conditions?”

    Great, so we’re recreating the some of the worse parts of a European system (low birth rates), with the worst parts of America (higher rates than most can afford and a shitty social safety net).

    If the current bill gets passed, Democrats are done for 50 years. And they deserve to be too…

  71. 71
    kay says:

    @Awesom0:

    That’s my calculation, and it’s based on 300% of poverty level and 13% of gross. I won’t go into the 11,000 cap on out of pocket a year, at this juncture.
    My big question is where did the money go? They spent a ton.
    It’s as if they went and purchased 45 million individual plans, retail.
    They ‘saved” like 100 bucks a month with their massive purchasing power!

  72. 72
    Tom Q says:

    I’m with the optimists. I think Obama had to illustrate in the baldest terms possible that, for the GOP, no reform was the only desired outcome. Too many people on the blogs appear to think — all previous evidence to the contrary — that Barack’s much stupider than they. I, and others, believe he’s known all along this day would come (unless 2-4 marginal GOPers had come to their sense). Now, when the Dems push through a better bill and the GOP cries “They’re not being bipartisan”, Barack can laugh and a big percentage of the populace will be right with him.

  73. 73
    ruemara says:

    jesus effin christ. this is 1, ONE, of 5 bills in senate. It’s the last one and all that was holding up the process. Quit whining about it, it was going to be a piece of asswipe, thanks to Max “Bought & Paid For” Baucus. Acting as if this was/is the final legislation is more premature than a 16 year old nerd at his first comic-con.

  74. 74

    The Onion chimed in on Max Baucus several years ago. Once again they were funny AND prescient.

  75. 75
    Da Bomb says:

    @ruemara: Beat me to it.

    This isn’t the end all be all of bills.

  76. 76
    Da Bomb says:

    @Brien Jackson: I agreed with this sentiment as well.

  77. 77
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Mark S.: @Ash Can:

    Is Snowe a dingbat? Along with the usual whining about how much it will cost, she’s also complaining that the subsidies aren’t generous enough. Since she is the only Republican vote to be had, what kind of game is she playing?

    Someone at the GOS had the key to this. Maine is apparently one of the highest in the nation in insurance premium rates (thanks to one company capturing the market), meaning her constituents (the ones who don’t line her campaign coffers) might actually vote her out of office if she stuck them with a bill that large.

  78. 78
    tamied says:

    I guess I’m really confused. Isn’t the problem we’re trying to solve the poor state of health care in this country, not the poor state of the insurance industry. I think we’re attacking the problem from the symptom, not the disease.

  79. 79
    kay says:

    @tamied:

    Baucus hands them 40 million new customers and a mandate and in they promise to keep premiums at 13% of gross income.

    Unless you actually get sick. Then they’ll take 11,000 a year PLUS 13% of gross income.

    When people said he was working on behalf of insurance companies, I thought that was over the top. This is so bad it qualifies as a bad faith proposal, from insurance companies, to government and consumers. They can’t have been serious about reform. They basically offered retail.

  80. 80
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Okay, it might not have been GOS, but somewhere else. I can’t find the link at the moment.

  81. 81
    kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Why didn’t they start at the other end?

    They asked insurance companies “what should insurance cost?” and then agreed to subsidize the number insurance companies gave them with a combination of deficit spending and onerous premiums to consumers?

    I mean, Jesus Christ. That’s unconscionable.

    The top number was supposed to be LOWER. They weren’t supposed to accept the price of a single individually purchased policy, and then figure out how to pay for that.

  82. 82
    oh really says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Baucus sounds to me like just one more synonym for “vomiting.”

  83. 83
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @kay:

    unconscionable pretty well sums it up.

  84. 84
    tamied says:

    @kay: I wouldn’t want them buying me a car. They’d ask the dealer “How much would you like me to pay for that car?”

  85. 85
    kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I had to stop reading when I got to the plan for the under-25 set, because then they get really cute. They call it the “invincible” plan.

    They’re going to force young people to buy a catastrophic policy at retail, with a subsidy from the gubmint, but it’s still retail.

    They’re not only screwing them, they’re making fun of them while they do it. I imagine that ‘invincible!” provision merited chuckles around the table of ancient bought-and-paid-for douchebags who wrote this thing.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    What a lot of the optimists here seem to be forgetting is the simple fact that – Republicans can not be shamed. They can not be rebuked. They can not be humiliated. They can not act in good conscience.

  87. 87
    kay says:

    @tamied:

    So much for the idea that health insurance costs haven’t come down because the “risk pool” isn’t large or varied enough, huh?

    I laughed out loud at the provision for preexisting condition people who get fired, and lose coverage. They can buy into the system, but only if they wait 6 months.

    Insurers are hoping that’s long enough…..not a problem anymore!

  88. 88
    Stoic says:

    You’re doing a heckuva job, Barack.

  89. 89
    Comrade Luke says:

    Wait, I get it!

    Invest in health care companies, make a huge profit, and cash out to pay for your healthcare when you get sick.

    Makes perfect sense. Also.

  90. 90
    Zifnab says:

    @Stoic: You know, when four out of five committees have successfully produced legislation – all with some form of public option – and Max Baucus has been hemorrhaging political capital left and right trying to salvage the credibility of his Gang of Six, while Schummer and Obama both press hard for completely short circuiting the Filibuster through Reconciliation, it seems a bit absurd to lay this at the administration’s feet.

    Bush needed to pass his tax cuts through Reconciliation. And he failed to “reform” Social Security. The clusterfuck that was Medicare Plan D only scraped through on a handful of votes in the House. And Obama’s legislative accomplishments in his first six months have already dwarfed Bush’s first two years.

    I think it’s a bit ridiculous to take legislation that’s been bottled up in committee since FD-freak’n-R and hang it over Obama’s head for not getting out fast enough.

  91. 91
    DFH no. 6 says:

    @kay:

    Yeah, that whole “invicible” thing for young people is just smarmy-as-all-hell bullshit, no matter who is promulgating it (having it in writing in a bill from a Democratic-majority Senate is just extra-special).

    It infuriates my son, who’s in his twenties, working full-time and finishing college (he’s almost there, he swears).

    His friends and acquaintences in his age-group who do not have health coverage are not in that position because they believe they are “invincible” or will never get sick or injured.

    They don’t have health coverage because their employers don’t offer it and their paychecks in no way allow them to buy it privately. Most of those without coverage are fairly nervous about it. Some I’ve talked to are downright scared.

    Young people who aren’t committed liberals will HATE the Democrats if this is what passes.

    Heckuva job, Baucus.

    I wish I could believe this was some 3-dimensional judo chess over “bipartisanship” but that would make me naive so I don’t. If it works out that way, great, but it ain’t on purpose.

  92. 92
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Zifnab:

    Obama’s legislative accomplishments in his first six months have already dwarfed Bush’s first two years

    I assume you’re talking about FISA, the Wall Street giveaway, saying he’s going to release detainees from Gitmo and not doing it, signing statements?

    If so, I totally agree, Rahm!

  93. 93
  94. 94
    Zifnab says:

    @Comrade Luke: I was going for SCHIP, the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a host of appointments including the nomination fo Sonya Sotomayer to the SCOTUS, policy changes at the bureaucratic level, the ramp down of the Iraq War, the stimulus (PORKULUS!) package, and – yes – the TARP and Fed economic policies.

    The economy didn’t fix itself. Democratic leadership stemmed the blood loss. And he has been moving on climate change and labor issues.

    But yes, feel free to list all the stuff he hasn’t done yet as testimony against him.

  95. 95
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What a lot of the optimists here seem to be forgetting is the simple fact that – Republicans can not be shamed. They can not be rebuked. They can not be humiliated. They can not act in good conscience.

    While I agree with that statement, I’m still calling strawman on your premise.

    This is not about getting the Republicans to make nice and behave like decent folks.

    This is 100% about putting their atrocious behavior on display for the majority of rational, voting citizens — independents specifically — in order to make the point that the Republican Party refuses to be an honest player at the table.

    Once that fact has been established in the minds of everyone who’d not a political junkie, using procedural methods like reconciliation will seem like the only reasonable way to get the bill passed.

  96. 96
    kay says:

    @DFH no. 6:

    Baucus got nothing from insurers, after kissing their ass for close to a year.
    I knew insurance lobbyists were writing the bipartisan bill. I assumed the 6 Senators would get some cost concessions for letting them write the bill. They didn’t.
    They didn’t even get a discount on coverage, in return for funneling 800 billion dollars to private insurers, and that’s just the government payment portion. That’s not including the mandated monthly premiums.
    I’m blown away by the arrogance and greed of this offer. The insurance companies must be very confident that they purchased enough Senators.

  97. 97
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Awesom0:

    According to the Baucus plan, an average family making roughly 66,000/year might have to pay around 700/month for health insurance.

    This is making me sick to read, because one of the reasons my marriage is in crisis is because we have been arguing over whether or not we can afford to have kids. Not that I wasn’t fired up about health care reform before, but this POS bill could end up costing me my wife.

  98. 98
    Noonan says:

    This offers the worst possible outcome: legislation grudgingly accepted by the left, hated by the right and regarded as a punishment by many of the people it’s designed to help.

  99. 99
    kay says:

    @Noonan:

    I’m nominally “on the left”, I guess, and I’m not accepting this, grudgingly or otherwise.

    Even the regulatory section sucks. It takes jurisdiction from state regulatory agencies and centers it in a federal. board.

    You’re an individual. To whom do you bring your complaint about the insurance company? Can I petition the federal Baucus Board, as an individual? Of course not. I’m not even going to get a hearing.

  100. 100
    Badtux says:

    The average family of four right now is paying over $1,000 per month for health insurance (or, rather, their employer is doing so, most probably). According to the Kaiser Foundation’s latest numbers, the average family pays $12,600 per month for family coverage. So complaining that a family might be required to pay the “outrageous” sum of $700/month for health insurance isn’t going to cut the mustard — they’re already paying that, and more.

    That said, 13% is pretty outrageous. We are currently paying 17% of gross domestic product for health care. Of that, only 35% — or 5.95% of GDP — is going through the private health insurance industry. The rest is federally or state funded or is co-pays and “other” (i.e., out of pocket). In short, a 6% income tax on every family and on every corporation in America would pay for healthcare for everybody in America. Requiring families to pay as much as 13% of their income to the health care mafia, with no option to pay it to a not-for-profit government entity instead, is basically just a give-away to the health insurance industry and utterly outrageous given that Medicare For All could be funded for *half* that price…

    – Badtux the Health Care Penguin

  101. 101
    Badtux says:

    Err, that’s $12,600 per *year* for family coverage, of course. Slip of the flippers there…

  102. 102

    “Even the regulatory section sucks. It takes jurisdiction from state regulatory agencies and centers it in a federal. board.”

    A) No it doesn’t.

    B) If it did, how would this be a bad thing?

  103. 103
    Bobby Thomson says:

    What makes you think Baucus is just stupid and not evil? All signs point to him being just as corrupt as Tom Delay, only even more dishonest about it. At least Delay didn’t pretend to be a Democrat.

  104. 104

    […] its so bipartisan. Also, On the upside, Humana, Wellpoint, and United Health group are getting a nice little boost in their […]

  105. 105
    Johnny Pez says:

    And don’t forget, Baucus and his Magical Mystery Caucus is the reason Obama didn’t have a bill with a public option sitting on his desk waiting to be signed back in July.

  106. 106

    […] So instead I’m going to make Friday my awards day, where I give the following award to the dickwad of the week: The Golden Hairball Award And today’s dickwad of the week is… Senator Max Baucus. Whose exercise in sucking Wellpoint’s corporate dick resulted in one of the rarest of Congressional achievements: A bill so bad, so rancid, that it makes cat puke look like a fucking Michelangelo sculpture. A bill so bad that it achieves the rare feat of getting both Republicans and Democrats agreeing on one thing in an exercise of bipartisanship not seen since the heyday of Ronald Reagan: this health care “reform” bill fucking sucks monkey dick. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] So instead I’m going to make Friday my awards day, where I give the following award to the dickwad of the week: The Golden Hairball Award And today’s dickwad of the week is… Senator Max Baucus. Whose exercise in sucking Wellpoint’s corporate dick resulted in one of the rarest of Congressional achievements: A bill so bad, so rancid, that it makes cat puke look like a fucking Michelangelo sculpture. A bill so bad that it achieves the rare feat of getting both Republicans and Democrats agreeing on one thing in an exercise of bipartisanship not seen since the heyday of Ronald Reagan: this health care “reform” bill fucking sucks monkey dick. […]

  2. […] its so bipartisan. Also, On the upside, Humana, Wellpoint, and United Health group are getting a nice little boost in their […]

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