as health care reform takes on water, the rats scatter….


by problembear

as republicans pull the rug out from his dream of bipartisanship, max purportedly used his staff to issue threats of blackballing any health industry ceo who works with them. max has already banned 70% of americans from participating in the negotiations. let’s see- republicans are balking and now the health insurers are thinking about jumping ship. wonder who will be left at his empty table when all his fair-weather friends have abandoned him? maybe he could invite the american public for a change.

and now that we have that little nasty exhange out of the way, it seems that someone has broken through the impenetrable shield of oblivious stupidity that surrounds washington and told the big players just how happy the american public is about their little plan to tax health benefits. a mad scramble ensues as they all distance themselves….

 max seems to be getting more and more evasive about the details….

UPDATE: the S.S. Max Baucus is taking on more water and listing badly to the right

UPDATE:Bill Maher has a few things to say that i agree with about obama’s leadership on health care reform:

  1. Big Swede

    Lieberman has come out with a no for the public plan. Nelson, Landrieu, Pryor, Lincoln are fence sitters. Could it come down to the MT boys to stop a filibuster?

    I’m stocking up on popcorn.

  2. While he was against it during the election, Obama is now supportive of taxing health benefits:

    Seems taxing pop and beer didn’t amount to more than chump change.

    Money’s got to come from somewhere….I don’t know if my benefits would meet the threshold of being taxed, but it’s not like I didn’t see this coming. And I’m fine with it, providing that there is a real, a strong and an accessible public option to compete.

    • unfortunately, while baucus chases bipartisanship at all costs, every time he gets a first down, grassley and the republicans just move the goal posts a little further. the republicans are leading this moron into a trap and the worst part of it is they win either way if this comes true….
      because if this passes with a tax on the middle class baucus will hand the republicans their campaign platform on a silver platter….and if it doesn’t pass, well the republicans can just say baucus screwed it up. it’s win win for the GOP thanks to stupid strategy on max’s part. it is becoming more and more clear that max is allowing the republicans and the health insurance industry to call the shots here. that is just not good leadership and it puts obama in jeopardy as well.

      just don’t think it is good statesmanship to trade obama’s chances in the 2012 elections to get a watered down bill passed that does little to fix the real problems with health care. let’s fund community clinics for those without insurance and wait until 2013 to get a real bill passed. because if you piss off the middle class by taxing them during these hard times when everyone is worried about just keeping their jobs and hand them a weak health care bill that just further strengthens the parasites there will be hell to pay…

      i realize baucus’s pants are on fire because he will look like an idiot if he fails this year, but if he starts panicking and looking around for a bucket to sit in i would prefer it not be the can of gas the republican’s have set out for him.

      • Baucus seeking bipartisan ship is a cover for him to hide the fact that he is pushing a plan on us that Republicans will like and progressive Democrats won’t. It’s called triangulation. He doesn’t need the Republicans, he can have reform with a mere 51 votes. He’s avoiding that for a reason.

  3. Barry

    Speaking of the health care business… did folks see this?


  4. Ochenski

    Jhwygirl, et al — The idea that you have to have new taxes for every new or changed program in government is unsustainable. What this nation really needs to do is re-prioritize our current spending. For instance, few people know the new “defense” bill contains $320 million to buy new pistols (Sig-Sauers, by the way, not Colts) for the Colombian National Police Force. How many kids could we send to college instead of arming another nation so they can kill their own citizens? Or how about the Baghdad Embassy, the largest and most expensive in the world that we will, one of these days, most likely not occupy, let alone fill. Or the tens of thousands of new military contractors headed toward Afghanistan?

    The upshot of all this is that we have plenty of money available to take care of America’s health care needs IF (note the big IF), we want to spend it on that instead of the thousands of other junk pork, subsidies and military projects so dear to the hearts of our corrupt Congress. But as we’re finding out more and more every day as the revelations of who owns Congress hit the press, it’ll be up to US, the American citizens, to blow the whistle on these people, DEMAND singlepayer health care like the rest of the civilized nations in the world, and make them pay for it through re-prioritizing spending, not by loading more taxes on the citizens or piling up unimaginable levels of debt on future generations. All it takes is political will — and that seems in very short supply in DC these days.

    • You are absolutely correct, GO – spending money on health care or education or any number of other concerns would certainly be better more productive ways to spend U.S. tax dollars.

      Obama motivated millions to actually get out there and cast their vote for him….I’m afraid a whole bunch of those people forget that casting that vote was just the beginning to representative government.

      While were here in Montana working towards national health care reform, I’m wondering what the rest of the U.S. is doing? Are people elsewhere rising up? Writing? Protesting?

      • klemz

        Not on this coast. Portland, Corvallis and Eugene are letting Democratic Senator Ron Wyden get away with serving industry interest under the guise of seeking bipartisan support. He doesn’t even endorse Obama’s version of the public option.

        It isn’t a south swell, so California, per usual, has no idea what’s going on. I don’t have the Washington report.

        • the swell will come later if Max-for-the-rich-health-care is passed that does nothing to alleviate the financial pain of the parasitic health care insurers premiums, co-pays, and high deductibles for the middle class…much, much later, and it will swallow up all the gains that progressives have made in a tidal wave of anger…not by the hard right wing but by people who just want to survive….and that is about 95% of us klemz….2010 and 2012 will be very difficult battles if obama/baucus screw this up as badly as it looks like it is being screwed up.

          • Ochenski

            P-Bear has it right. IF (big IF) the Dems actually brought singlepayer, universal health care to the nation, they wouldn’t lose an election for the next 40 years. On the other hand, if they follow the lame, incomprehensible, insurance-in-the-middle, “plans” we’re seeing in the Senate, the Ds may very well be out on their butts again — especially if they raise taxes or cut Medicare and Medicaid to give the money to insurance companies. And you know what? They should get kicked out if they do a half-ass job on health care reform (not insurance reform). The Rs had their chance to lead for the last 8 years. Now, the Dems control DC…period. They have no one to blame but themselves if they’re handed the tiller and run the ship on the rocks.

  5. Lizard

    another good article here by Dave Lindorff: How Obama is Blowing the Chance for Real Health Care Reform. snip:

    Having a so-called “public option” plan working in competition with private insurance plans will not solve this problem. Either the public option will become like the private options—trimming benefits and rejecting some applicants—or it will become a dumping ground for all the high-cost, high-risk people that the private sector insurance industry doesn’t want. At that point, the public plan will become a huge cost burden on the taxpayer, who will begin demanding that it cut back in the benefits it provides, taking us right back to where we started.

    The fact that the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress are both raising the issue of the high cost of health care “reform,” and are talking about ways to raise revenues to pay for it tells us all we need to know about the alleged “reform” schemes they are contemplating. They are doomed and, even if implemented, will not work.

    Real reform of the American health care system would not cost money. It would save money.

    • If a true “public option” offers good coverage at a rate lower than private options it will attract healthy and sick alike, and will work. However, I agree that the insurance industry wants to be able to cherry pick. That’s what I expect from any kind of Baucus public option – a cherry-picker.

      • JC

        Just another example of the good old free-marketeering “privatize the profit and publicize the risk” theory of capitalism that thrived under Bush & Co,

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