Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No, No, NO!

Just when you think we might actually make progress on national healthcare reform...

[Senator Max] Baucus [D-Stupidtown] says his group will produce the bill that best meets Mr. Obama's top priorities, broadly expanding coverage to the uninsured and curtailing the steep rise in health care spending over the long term, what policy makers call "bending the cost curve."

Still, if the three Democrats and three Republicans can pull off a grand bargain, it will have to be more conservative than the measures proposed by the House or the left-leaning Senate health committee. And that could force Mr. Obama to choose between backing the bipartisan deal or rank-and-file Democrats who want a bill that more closely reflects their liberal ideals.

Already, the group of six has tossed aside the idea of a government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers, which the president supports but Republicans said was a deal-breaker.

Instead, they are proposing a network of private, nonprofit cooperatives.

They have also dismissed the House Democratic plan to pay for the bill's roughly $1 trillion, 10-year cost partly with an income surtax on high earners.

The three Republicans have insisted that any new taxes come from within the health care arena. As one option, Democrats have proposed taxing high-end insurance plans with values exceeding $25,000.

The Senate group also seems prepared to drop a requirement, included in other versions of the legislation, that employers offer coverage to their workers. "We don't mandate employer coverage," Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine and one of the six, said Monday. Employers that do not offer coverage may instead have to pay the cost of any government subsidies for which their workers qualify. In the House, centrist Democrats have temporarily stalled the health care bill, many lawmakers want to see what Mr. Baucus's group produces before voting on tax increases in the House bill.

What's the point in gutting our current system if we're only going to replace it with a NEW AND IMPROVED FAILED SYSTEM!!!
What's the point in reforming healthcare if the reform basically involves putting the foxes in charge of the hen house and letting the wolves walk away scot free?
Look, I understand that things in this country have to be done in small steps, like turning a battleship around in a harbor, but this is not even a step forward so much as a move to the side! Meanwhile, millions of Americans will die this year because of inadequate heatlh insurance, bad medical treatments because of bad insurance policies, and inadequate attention to preventative measures that could significantly improve not only the longevity of Americans, but the quality of that life, allowing us a more productive citizenry to help move this country forward.