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  • The Baucus Plan: The Status Quo on Steroids

    Senator Baucus’ latest attempt to reach a bi-partisan agreement still misses the mark. While there may be a few elements that may be worth discussing, the vast majority of the proposal continues to take the discussion over reform in the wrong direction.

    Many of the same fundamental problems plague this proposal as the other proposals in Congress.

    • Centralizes power in Washington and adds new layers of federal bureaucracy. The entire bill is based on creating new federal authority over the regulation and delivery of health care. This not only pre-empts existing state authority, but it replaces it with a massive, mind-numbing new federal bureaucracy. It seems impossible to imagine the federal government doing a good job running 1/6 of the economy.
    • Establishes a pseudo-public plan through the creation of a federal co-op. The Baucus co-op would set up congressionally approved co-ops with federal funds to support it. It would also disallow existing institutions from participating. What’s wrong with trusted groups and organizations offering health care to their members? This is not a consumer-based co-op, but rather another attempt to create a new government-run plan.
    • Fails to protect the coverage people have today, especially benefits for seniors. While formula changes may be needed, changes to MedicareAdvantage would put the benefits millions of seniors, especially lower-income, have today at risk and the “savings” will be used to partly finance a new entitlement rather than to shore up the finances of Medicare.
    • Uses the flawed and fiscally challenged Medicaid program as a platform for expansions. Medicaid can barely afford to provide care and services to those who already have it. Expanding it will not improve this fiscal scenario and will continue to balkanize segments of the populations onto to a government-run public plan rather than mainstreaming Americans into private coverage.
    • Adds costs to the health care system through fees, taxes, and mandates. The proposal’s way to pay for all this is a laundry list of new fees, taxes and other hidden costs that will ultimately be passed on to the consumer. Fees on those providing health care services will encourage gimmicks and will be pushed down to the consumer. Even the employer and individual mandates are hidden taxes that individuals and workers will end up paying if their plan doesn’t meet new federal standards.

    Even the elements that may have some hope – like income relating Part D benefit and tax credits – hit a wall. If Congress is going to means-test Medicare benefits, the savings should go to bring down the costs on future generations not to pay for a massive coverage expansions for others. Second, tax credits should be targeted solely to individuals, not to small businesses. Small business tax credits are inefficient and a costly proposition. Rather, tax credits should go to individuals and families – making sure the money follows the person not the company.

    It is time for Congress to start over. This proposal, like the others in Congress, is not a serious attempt at building a bi-partisan framework. If Congress wants lasting health care reform, it should hit the reset button, focus on elements that can garner broad support – like promoting state-based reforms, fixing the tax treatment of health insurance, and provide assistance to help those at lower-incomes afford private health insurance.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to The Baucus Plan: The Status Quo on Steroids

    1. Pingback: The Baucus Plan: The Status Quo on Steroids « Prayer, News & Action

    2. JAB says:

      We are doomed, no matter where we look, the progressives are in power. This thanks to the successful dumbing down of too many Americans. Don't count on the conservatives in congress, if there are any left, they are outnumbered. Join the "9/12 Project", support the "Tea Party" activists, bombard your representatives in Washington, and your home State with phone calls, letters and emails. Listen to/Watch Glenn Beck, one of the most brave private citizens in the United States of America.

    3. Normca says:

      Glenn Beck may be right on with many issues, but to say Republicans today are as bad as democrats sends me to my remote. It may have been accurate to say Republicans spent too much money when they had what some would call a majority [albeit one or two]. The only problem with that is it did take money to implement security around airports and public buildings and to implement security around the world at US interests. And in order to keep the Iraq War funded, democrats through more pork in those bills and our Republican president kept his priorities straight. So to laud Beck is not quite true to me. It grabs some middle of the road so called Centrists to view and listen to his shows.

    4. Andy, Indiana says:

      If Washington wants real reform, they should read Dr. Arthur Feldman's column in the Washington Post – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/stor…. If Congress doesn't like it, that means they want to control our lives and their bill reminds me of the title to Charles Bronson's hit movie – "Death Wish".

    5. Tim Az says:

      If these socialists manage to achieve Health control they may have won. What better way to become a dictaorship than to control everything one may or may not do with their own body on a daily basis. The punishment for disobedience will always be death. The variance will be quick or slow.

    6. Ross writes, Brade says:

      Senator Baucas (from wherever) and most of the congress and senate, all the live exclusively in "Washingtonland", a land of fantasy where sophistry is the common language and subversiveness of our individual liberties being their ultimate reward. This fit nicely into Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, and Frontierland.

      Now I getting the connection between Senator Reid's support of the Disney scheme to fleece our overseas visitors! Regretfully, Disney World would be absorbed by Washington and probably be called WASHINGTON WORLD. Mickey could finally retire, Washington has plenty of rats to replace him…and just as cute and cuddley!

    7. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Call it what they will, the Feds have to accept the fact that it is not their job to regulate the States! They need to stop confusing the issue with words and learn to keep things simple! A spade is a spade and not a long handled shovel!

      Hozro

    8. Pingback: Obama-Baucus Fundraising Tips For Despots - jlynnr’s Diary - RedState

    9. Harry Snyder Mich. says:

      Baucus Plan: Just another mutation of the dangerous virus called HR 3200, which I have scanned. Changes here and there to deceive the public. We don't have to place 1/6 of the U.S. economy in Barack Obama's hands just to help ten to fifteen million citizens who can't afford good health insurance.

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