Baucus to unveil reform proposal with individual mandate

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max
Baucus (D-Mont) will unveil today his plan to overhaul the U.S. health care system.

Laura Meckler, of The Journal, reports the plan is very similar to the one Obama touted on the campaign trail with one major exception: Baucus wants to require all individuals to buy health insurance.

Given this, one could probably more accurately say the plan resembles Sen. Hillary Clinton’s plan. Where is Clinton in these discussions? Time has an update on the health care reform veteran.

Here’s what Jonathan Cohn has to say about Clinton’s involvement: "Exactly what role Clinton can play remains unclear, since she doesn’t
have the committee seniority to assert herself the way, say, Baucus or
Kennedy does. But she remains one of the most visible and, on health
care, one of the most trusted policymakers in Washington. If she wants
to say something, she’ll be heard. And that’s a good thing."

For background on the Senate’s health plans, see Jonathan Cohn’s article in the New Republic.

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6 replies »

  1. Needless to say, Healthcare reform is sorely needed in this country. Working in the Group Health Insurance industry in Dade and Broward counties in South Florida, we are constantly exposed to the inequities of the system. Things such as women having to pay so much more than men. The extremely high costs of the plans in south florida due to the extremely high cost of prescirption drugs which the retired population in Dade and Broward counties need so many of. Hopefully the new administration will require the insurance companies to scale the cost of their plans back, so that we won’t have to spend our annuities to pay for our group health care insurance.
    Jean Drogus

  2. Greg – Yeah GM and Ford have high pension costs but they but they unbundled that last year when they gave a lump sum of cash to UAW and basically told them to figure out how to constrain health care costs for their pensioners.
    The issue with GM and Ford is that they made haven’t had a domestic passenger car that Americans (or the world) wants to buy or that is profitable in a long, long time. Instead, they rode the low gas prices of the late 1990s/early 2000s and their large profit margins on SUVs to cover up several huge long-term issues that management failed to address.
    Now, the Ford family and GM are holding the American taxpayer hostage for their stupidity and managment failure at the estimated tune of 4% of American GDP if the Big 3 go through bankrupcy.

  3. Having universal insurance coverage is not a criteria for finding a doctor, it is that everyone in America can have access to health care. Do people have to suffer because they have a problem with their digestive tract and can’t find a gastroenterologist because the free market doesn’t pay enough for them to do their operations?
    When one buys a Ford or GM vehicle, over $1000 of the price tag goes for medical care of Ford and GM employees and retirees. It does impale many other business organizations (including small businesses) around America. If America’s businesses did not have to worry about supplying health care to their employees and retirees, these same businesses could once again compete in a global market.

  4. And I have to ask when we’ll demand more doctors so they’re not so precious and have time to properly heal people. When will we demand that we stop asking about the cost of human care, but consider the value of humans?
    Instead we’re going to mandate that everyone bankrupt themselves paying for “insurance” from a financial industry that’s – demonstrably so, in the last month – a pyramid scam.
    That’s certainly not the workers owning the means of production, so I’m hoping no one tries to paint that as a child of Marx.

  5. Compromise for Republicans will mean premium payers and taxpayers take the hit, not insurance, drug companies, docs or other providers in the industry. Welcome to the new socialism – corporate socialism.

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