Politics

After All That…No Bipartisan Support?

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The bill that Baucus passed today didn’t have a public option in it. Let me repeat that…Baucus’ bill had NO PUBLIC OPTION in it.

Yes, there are decentralized not-for-profit co-ops, but that’s definitely not a public option as had been proposed.

Here’s more about what’s in the bill, from Politico:

The bill requires individuals to buy insurance, or else face a penalty of between $750 and $950 annually, depending on income level, and a maximum of $3,800 for families with incomes 300 percent of the poverty line. The Senate HELP bill sets the fine at $750 per year, while the House bill levies a two percent tax on the adjusted gross income of an individual who does buy insurance.

The Finance Committee bill would not mandate businesses to provide coverage for their employees – as the House and Senate HELP bill does – but it would require them to defray the cost of any government subsidies for which their employees would qualify.

To pay for the overhaul, the legislation calls for raising $214 billion through a 35 percent excise tax on high-end insurance plans, assessing $93 billion in fees on industry players, including device manufacturers, insurers and clinical laboratories, and making a series of tax code changes.

And yet no Republicans will support it? Not even moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe? What gives?

Personally, I think this says a lot about the GOP and their sincerity. It seems to me that all they really want to do is block health care reform because it’s good politics. Sure, there are big costs involved, but they’re paid for with new revenue generation and cuts in Medicare and CHIP. So Snowe’s explanation that she won’t support it due to costs are, well, pretty thin.

And to that point about Medicare…how many Republicans do you hear talking about cutting this program or crying foul about being able to pay for it? Answer: all of them.

Well, their tune changes when Dems actually propose cutting funding and/or paying for it…

“This partisan proposal cuts Medicare by nearly a half-trillion dollars, and puts massive new tax burdens on families and small businesses, to create yet another thousand-page, trillion-dollar government program,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement. “Only in Washington would anyone think that makes sense, especially in this economy.

Isn’t it a conservative principle to not give people everything for free and make sure folks pay for things so you can balance the books?

I’m getting so tired of this, and it’s one of the reasons why I haven’t been posting lately. Nobody on the right seems to want to actually compromise on this stuff and it’s beyond frustrating.

However, Republicans beware…if you don’t accept something that you’ve had a say in you might be presented with an option that you really don’t like.

But hey, maybe that’s what they want. Let the Dems pass something with a robust public option so they can just complain about it, call it fiscally irresponsible, cry socialism, etc. Perhaps smart politics, but they can’t say they didn’t have a seat at the table. Baucus’ bill is not a kabuki dance and he has compromised on a lot. Too bad Republicans haven’t held up their end of the bipartisan bargain.