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Max Baucus
  • Colbert: Send Max Baucus Your Health Care Bills

    On last night's Colbert Report, Stephen proposed a brilliant plan to cover the uninsured. Since Max Baucus killed the public option, simply send him your medical bills. And don't worry, the health care industry has given Baucus over three million dollars, so he should be able to cover it. I guess if we can't send him some balls and integrity, this is the next best thing.

    The Colbert Report airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30pm / 10:30c.

    Tags: Bill Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Health Care, Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, Senate, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, Tom Carper, Video
  • Senate Finance Committee Punches the Public Option Where it Hurts

    senate-finance-committee-membersThe public option, as most non-wingnuts realize, is just that: an option, a thing people could choose or not choose. The Senate Finance Committee demonstrated this sophisticated "choosing" mechanism yesterday by not choosing the public option, which was presented to them twice in the form of amendments to Max Baucus's wildly unbeloved health care bill.

    Pay attention to how it all went down, in case you ever find yourself faced with a "choice" about health care…

    The first proposal, by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, was rejected 15 to 8, as five Democrats joined all Republicans on the panel in voting no. The second proposal, by Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, was defeated 13 to 10, with three Democrats voting no.

    The votes vindicated the middle-of-the-road approach taken by the committee chairman, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana. Mr. Baucus voted against both proposals [because] he asserted that the idea could not get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster on the Senate floor.

    Nobody is quite sure what Max Baucus means by this, because Democrats could do this thing with 51 votes in the full Senate — oh, but then again, it would be teddibly teddibly rude to put Republicans on the spot like that, and rudeness is never a good option.

    However, we can be sure what Max Baucus means by this

    "My first job is to get this job across the finish line," Baucus said. "I fear if this provision is in this bill as it goes out of this committee, it will jeopardize real meaningful health reform."

    Of course, we can't jeopardize real meaningful health reform with things like real meaningful health reform! That's a choice no one should ever have to make.

    Tags: Democrats, Health Care, Max Baucus, Senate
  • The Public Option Debate: It's Gonna Be One Crazy Ride!

    You know, I don't cover the battle for the public option in the public option debate all that often because, well, mostly it's pretty boring.

    However, this article made me change my mind

    The debate over whether to create a public insurance plan to compete with private plans is about to explode in the Senate Finance Committee. The stakes are high and so is the suspense.

    Whoa! It's about to EXPLODE?! That's crazy! And exciting! And stimulating! Maybe I had this health care thing pegged wrong.

    And "The stakes are high and so is the suspense," wasn't that the tag line for that movie with Will Smith, Chow Yun Fat and Billy Joel? (Or did I dream that?)

    Let's keep reading, because this is gonna be awesome! I just know it…

    [T]here are nine Democrats in favor of or open to at least one of the three public options. Two favor Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe's proposal for state-level public options to be "triggered" if competition in a state falls short. Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas is a mystery. If she ultimately supports some type of public option, that would make committee chairman Max Baucus the deciding vote. He says he supports a public option but that it couldn't win on the floor.

    That's pretty exciting, I guess. But what I'm really looking forward to is how they'll come to a final decision.

    Tags: Blanche Lincoln, Health Care, Max Baucus, Olympia Snowe, Senate
  • The Senate Finance Committee Is the Least-Fun Thing on Earth Right Now

    This is not an actual photograph of the amendments that have been tacked on to Max Baucus's health care bill, but it might as well be — there are 564 of them, so far! (I believe legislators do this in order to support their argument that other legislators "have not read the bill.")

    Of course, nobody likes Max Baucus's health care bill, not even Max Baucus, who's already announcing revisions

    All of his changes, though, would add billions to the cost of a bill whose chief accomplishment was its relative austerity.

    That'll go over without any outlandish complaints about Socialism, I'm sure.

    Anyway, the Senate Finance Committee is "marking up" the Baucus bill with all its amendments right this very minute, which is reason #4,203,198 why you should be glad you are not on the Senate Finance Committee. (Reason #4,203,197 is "having to sit next to Chuck Grassley while he's Twittering.")

    Tags: Chuck Grassley, Health Care, Max Baucus, Senate, Twitter
  • Gang of Six is Not Gung Ho for Max Baucus' Health Care Bill

    max-baucus-not-a-winnerDemocratic Senator Max Baucus has finally coughed up his version of a health care bill (vital stats: 223 pages, $856 billion), giving Republican members of the "Gang of Six" the opportunity to flip him the bird, bipartisanly.

    Here's Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming)'s official, unshocking objection:

    "The proposal released today still spends too much, and it does too little to cut health care costs for those with health insurance. At a time when our nation faces a $9 trillion deficit, we should target assistance to those in the greatest need without creating unsustainable new entitlement programs. [...]

    The best way to reform our health care system is to do it step by step. That is how you gain the trust of the American people. Let’s start by focusing on the issues where we already have broad, bipartisan agreement."

    And that, children, is why the United States Senate spent eight months discussing chicken soup, and how it really does make you feel better for some reason.

    Tags: Health Care, Max Baucus, Mike Enzi, Republicans, Senate