Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Open Thread: Baucus' Plan Leaks

I guess I’m allowed to do this, right? I want to start a Labor Day Open Thread to celebrate the release of Baucus’ Plan which, quite frankly, I was beginning to wonder if we would see the messiah before this plan.

The details are below;…

Here’s a snippit;

The proposal is the culmination of more than a year of work by the chairman, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana. A similar fee was proposed by several liberal Democrats in July. In making it part of his proposal, Mr. Baucus may help cover the costs of the bill but also risks alienating Republicans whom he is trying to win over. Mr. Baucus is struggling to forge a bipartisan consensus among 6 of the 23 senators on his committee before President Obama puts new pressure on lawmakers in an address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday evening.

The proposal by Mr. Baucus does not include a public option, or a government-run insurance plan, to compete with private insurers, as many Democrats want.

The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, appearing Sunday on the ABC News program “This Week,” said Mr. Obama saw the public plan as “a valuable tool” to promote choice and competition in the insurance market. But he stopped short of saying that the president would veto a bill without it.

It remains to be seen how Mr. Baucus’s plan might mesh with any proposals Mr. Obama lays out as he tries to pump up support for health care legislation, his top domestic priority.

People familiar with Mr. Baucus’s plan said it was calculated to appeal to Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine. But, at first glance, they said, it appears unlikely that the proposal, in its current form, could win support from the other Republicans in the “group of six,” Senators Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming.

The group is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, when Congress reconvenes after its August recess. Mr. Baucus is looking for a quick response from the Republicans.

Mr. Baucus’s plan, expected to cost $850 billion to $900 billion over 10 years, would tax insurance companies on their most expensive health care policies. The hope is that employers would buy cheaper, less generous coverage for employees, thereby reducing the overuse of medical services.

The separate new fee on insurance companies would help raise money to pay for the plan. The fee would raise $6 billion a year starting in 2010, and it would be allocated among insurance companies according to their market shares.

The fees were first proposed by Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York, John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. Until now, Mr. Baucus had not shown interest in the idea.

Open Thread. Happy Labor Day!  


  1. DTOzone

    and I had a fun exchange with my good friend over at MyDD tonight. He claimed that Clinton’s plan failed because he was kowtowing to conservative Democrats too much, drafting a bill for them, to which I suggested that wasn’t true, to which he gave me a bunch of links to prove his point, one of which included this;

    September 2, 1993 – Clinton’s political and policy advisers agree on an explicit congressional strategy. Rather than start from the center, writing a bill that will appeal to conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans (while telling the liberals this is the best deal they can get), Clinton decides to follow a strategy of starting from the left and moving as far to the center as is needed to reach a majority. The advisers do not know that Newt Gingrich is determined there be no Republican support for any Clinton-designed reform and that the whole effort be derailed.

    I have had a lot of fun tonight watching him tie himself in knots.  

  2. HappyinVT

    And I’m quite happy about that.

    Now I can’t wait until Wednesday to see what the prez says to Congress.  I am not looking forward to the now-requisite parsing of every word and/or syllable that will commence shortly after the speech begins.

Comments are closed.