It looks like Sen. Max Baucus picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines. He presented his much ballyhooed heath care reform bill yesterday and the result…everyone hates it. How much do they hate it? A liberal college audience from Maryland booed PRESIDENT OBAMA when he brought it up in a speech.
I guess after this past summer it’s good to see the left and the right finally come together on something, even if it is the fact that BaucusCare su-diddly-ucks. The lefty blogs I tearing it apart from there end. I figured I’ll do it here, with the help of the Wall Street Journal.
Remember during the campaign last year when Obama criticized Hillary Clinton that she was going to force people but insurance, even if they couldn’t afford it, and charge them a penalty if they didn’t? Behold…
The centerpiece of the Obama-Baucus plan is a decree that everyone purchase heavily regulated insurance policies or else pay a penalty. This government mandate would require huge subsidies as well as brute force to get anywhere near the goal of universal coverage. The inevitable result would be a vast increase in the government’s share of U.S. health spending, forcing doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and other health providers to serve politics as well as or even over and above patients.
The plan essentially rewrites all insurance contracts, including those offered by businesses to their workers. Benefits and premiums must be tailored to federal specifications. First-dollar coverage would be mandated for many services, and cost-sharing between businesses and employees would be sharply reduced, though this is one policy that might reduce health spending by giving consumers more skin in the game. Nor would insurance be allowed to bear any relation to risk. Inevitably, costs would continue to climb.
Everyone would be forced to buy these government-approved policies, whether or not they suit their needs or budget. Families would face tax penalties as high as $3,800 a year for not complying, singles $950. As one resident of Massachusetts where Mitt Romney imposed an individual mandate in 2006 put it in a Journal story yesterday, this is like taxing the homeless for not buying a mansion.
Of course the whole WSJ article needs to be read for the facts and figures I can’t even begin to explain here. So with the reaction to this bill, and most of Obama’s poll numbers seemingly going right back to where they were before he gave his hyper-partisan speech, are we surprised the centrist Democrats are finally ready to reach across the isle and ask their Republican counterparts, “So, aboot those thirty-two different alternatives that you have….”