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TheLizard

Max Baucus is a Whore

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Senate panel on Tuesday rejected a government-run "public" insurance option as part of a broad healthcare overhaul, setting up a fight over one of the bill's most contentious issues.

The two votes in the Senate Finance Committee were the first of several battles expected in Congress over a public insurance option, a flashpoint in the raging U.S. debate over President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

Democratic Chairman Max Baucus opposed both amendments, and said Democrats could not muster the 60 Senate votes needed to clear Republican procedural hurdles and pass a healthcare reform bill if it includes the public option.

"I can count," Baucus said. "No one has been able to show me how they can count up to 60 votes with a public option in the bill."

Supporters of the option disagreed and said they expected more success when the issue is taken up in the full Senate and the House of Representatives, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has vowed the public option will be included in a final bill.

"The more the American people hear about the public option, the more they like it," said Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, who sponsored one of the amendments.

The Senate Finance plan by Baucus is the only healthcare reform bill pending in Congress that does not have a public insurance plan, which Obama and other backers say would boost competition for insurers.

Republican critics say the public option would devastate the private insurance industry and ultimately lead to a government takeover of the sector.

Democratic Senator John Rockefeller, who offered the other amendment to insert a public option, said the approach would give the public more choices and force the insurance industry to compete.

"Who comes first, the insurance companies or the American people?" he asked.

Senator Charles Grassley, the senior Republican on the panel, said the public option would represent a first step toward the eventual goal of Democrats -- a complete government-run health insurance system.

'DRIVE INSURERS OUT OF BUSINESS'

"A government-run plan will ultimately drive private insurers out of business," Grassley said. "If you support government bureaucrats, not doctors, making decisions, you should support this amendment."

Five Democrats joined panel Republicans to oppose Rockefeller's amendment, 15-8. The second amendment, by Schumer, failed 13-10 with three Democrats opposed.

The votes came as the panel opened its second week of debate on a broad overhaul of the $2.5 trillion healthcare system.

The panel hopes to finish debate this week, with a final vote by at least early next week that will send it to the full Senate.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will merge the Finance panel's bill with one passed by the Senate Health committee before the full Senate takes up healthcare reform in the next few weeks.

The $900 billion Baucus bill, one of five pending in Congress, is designed to control costs, regulate insurers and expand coverage to more of the 46 million uninsured people living in the United States.

The plan under consideration by the Senate Finance panel would create state-based exchanges where individuals and small businesses could shop for insurance, but would not offer a government-run plan as an option.

As an alternative, the committee's bill would create nonprofit insurance cooperatives to create competition. Rockefeller and other public option backers say cooperatives are unproven and would not offer enough competition.

Democratic Senator Kent Conrad, the prime proponent of cooperatives, said there were plenty of innovative models using non-profit approaches that have been tried around the world.

"We've gotten locked in a really sterile debate that says the only alternatives are what we've got now or a public option," Conrad said.

Rockefeller's amendment would have tied reimbursement rates for healthcare providers to the lower rates under Medicare, the health insurance plan for the elderly, for two years.

If that happens, Conrad, who is from North Dakota, said, "every major hospital in my state goes broke."

Rockefeller and Schumer said they had expected the issue to lose in the more conservative Senate panel but wanted kick off debate. Republicans were skeptical.

"If it's so popular, why are there so many Democrats who have a problem with it?" Republican Senator John Ensign asked of the public option.

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The system is broken. We can vote the right guy into the White House, but we can't keep congress from being bought off.

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The thing is, growing up with a military father, I've never known anything but government subsidized healthcare either. Which is why I want other people to have that option as well. The whole system is f**ked up, but since congress is bought and paid for, there's not much that can be done.

And as long as I'm on my soapbox, here's something I find interesting:

Roman Polanski f**ked a little girl 30 years ago: 24 replies

Mackenzie Phillips makes up sensational, lurid crap: 34 replies

Men like boobs: 54 replies

The welfare of Americans is in jeopardy because of one of the most corrupt congresses in history: 1 reply, by a non-American no less.

Ok, I'll get down now.

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I don't understand :confused:

"The $900 billion Baucus bill, one of five pending in Congress, is designed to control costs, regulate insurers and expand coverage to more of the 46 million uninsured people living in the United States."

Bad thing? Or wait .. 'more of the 46 million uninsured' instead of 'all'?

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Here are some of the major issues/problems with the proposal:

1. Cost - Where does the $900,000,000,000 come from to cover the 46,000,000 uninsured? At an average cost of $300 monthly for health insurance, it would cost $165,600,000,000 annually. That about 5 years of coverage. But if the failing experiment in Massachusetts is accurate, premiums will skyrocket. Also when you must take people no matter what their health history is like, claims will overtake premium collected. Every state that makes it mandatory to accept people with pre-existing conditions have much higher rates than other states.Right now insurance is controlled on a state by state basis in the US. If healthcare becomes nationalized and all citizens must be treated the same...costs will be out of control.

2. The Gov't - They have never proven they could run anything cost-effectively. Democrat/Republican..it doesn't matter. Reference Medicare and Social Security. What makes anybody think this will be different?

3. Why is this being rushed? It's too big to rush a decision and then force everybody to live with the results. It would appear that the only reason to rush this is so that Obama can say he fulfilled his campaign promise. Well he now has many Democrats voting against him and everything is coming to a screeching halt. Do it once, do it right.

4. many people don't trust putting their health in the hands of the gov't. See point #2.

I'm sure there are more issues, but truly the cost and the unknown future cost is the biggest problem.

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I agree that the system we have now stinks, and I agree with Ron, we shouldn't rush into anything just to have a change. Congress should work together to create something that both parties can come to terms with. To just knock something down and not offer any other options is not productive. Then again, working together and being productive is counterintuitive to a congressperson.

I have a hard time understanding insurance companies of any kind anyway. You pay to have them help you in case you need them. Then, when you do need them most, they raise your premiums or drop you. I can understand it if you abuse it, but if you've been paying for years without needing their services, you have more than paid for whatever they're spending on you.

Edited by Guest

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I have a hard time understanding insurance companies of any kind anyway. You pay to have them help you in case you need them. Then, when you do need them most, they raise your premiums or drop you. I can understand it if you abuse it, but if you've been paying for years without needing their services, you have more than paid for whatever they're spending on you.

the difference is that they are not there to help - they exist to earn money... simple as that :P

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^Right.

Also, we don't necessarily need something both parties can agree on. It'll get watered down until it's pointless. The republican party will never agree on a public option, which is the key component of any real reform. We really need a single payer system, but anything that even smells slightly like socialism will get shouted down by the dumb masses.

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Call me a spoilt European, but I really don't see how any government (or party the size of the Republicans) could oppose public health care. It really is beyond me. I really can't wrap my head around it :P It's like making people pay for school (oh, wait... never mind).

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anything that even smells slightly like socialism will get shouted down by the dumb masses.

fwiw, the guy who introduced the universal health insurance in Germany was the same guy who outlawed the Social Democratic party...

Call me a spoilt European, but I really don't see how any government (or party the size of the Republicans) could oppose public health care. It really is beyond me. I really can't wrap my head around it :P It's like making people pay for school (oh, wait... never mind).

that's exactly what I meant with my original post...

Edited by Guest

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Oh, for Christ's sake -trust Big Brother for a change ! Why do you bother having elections if you immediately turn against the winning party - and what they said they WOULD do ? You're starting to act like the 'lesser ' countries you loathe . You haven't done well for yourselves by doubting 'him' on this issue for the last 50 years or so , while your privatized doctors and their lobbyists , and drug company executives laugh ( as well as the modern world ) at you and party in their swimming pools and mansions thinking ' You ... silly bastards, and we have it made .' :sleepy: That's not to say that doctors don't work hard , but they do get perks ( as privatized quacks ) way beyond what they deserve - because they won't keep costs down, and do you really want to keep that going ?! Where's that fiery revolutionary spirit we all know and love ?!

Either that , or forbid your citizens from going to India , Britain , Canada , Thailand , etc. and burdening their health care systems . What's new is scary , but you'll come to like it .

You're good people and you want everyone to feel somewhat cared for , don't you ? Rush some bill through and be done with it . Modify later . :D

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I know that both sides will NEVER agree on anything because that wouldn't be politically beneficial. It's better to scare people into thinking that if they get sick they'll be thrown into the street to die than to try and change something. I don't understand how people fall for the crap that these overfed, overprivileged windbags on TV are selling. Obama was elected because we wanted change, now we're gonna get it and you're in the street screaming foul?

Nothing is perfect or ever will be, but in order to progress, changes have to be made.

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