Democratic Senator Max Baucus announced his health care reform proposal. Given the position Baucus has as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I suppose we shouldn’t have expected any better. The legislation he has crafted serves the needs of finance very well, but it doesn’t actually help much with health care.
The BaucusCare legislation slashes the subsidies to help Americans pay for health care insurance that were provided in other reform proposals. Finance saves money, and working Americans are going to have to pick up the bill.
BaucusCare neglects the single payer health care strategy that could provide good health insurance to Americans at a significantly reduced cost. BaucusCare doesn’t even include the public option which would provide an alternative to private medical insurance and pressure insurance companies to stop abusing sick and injured Americans when they’re at their most vulnerable.
With BaucusCare, insurance companies can breathe easy, and feel comfortable with the promise of bigger profits than they could ever have made before. BaucusCare will require Americans to buy the products that private insurance companies offer, without providing for any mechanism that can be reasonably expected to significantly reduce the price we pay for medical insurance. American families who are struggling to keep their homes will lose their homes because of this requirement, and the people wealthy enough to own a chunk of the insurance companies will become even more wealthy at everyone else’s expense.
Members of Congress like Baucus, who has taken millions of dollars from people aligned with the insurance industry, will benefit at our expense too, gaining more political power by agreeing to become servants of insurance bureaucrats.
If Democrats in the Senate don’t stand up to Max Baucus and push for real health care reform that actually means something, 2009 will go down in history as the Year of the Empty Promise. BaucusCare could as easily be called BogusCare.