Even Without Public Option, Baucus Bill Hardly Toothless

The good news this evening is that the Senate Finance Committee twice today shot down attempts to include a government-run insurance option in one particular health care reform measure currently working its way through committee.

The bad news, however, is that the plan in question is not “middle of the road” as NBC and the mainstream media suggests. Make no mistake — the Democrats still want government control of health care, be it through a government-funded and -run co-op structure, through the type of “public option” shot down twice today, or through some yet-to-come program designed as a catch all for Americans subject to an individual mandate. Regardless of the end result, the primary reason for the removal of the much-maligned “public option” in the Baucus bill is just that — the “public option,” by that name, has been much maligned. In reality, government-run health care is alive and well.

Besides, Chuck Schumer and others simply won’t let that public option go. It will be brought up on the Senate floor, or behind closed doors in the process of combining bills once legislation passes the House and Senate.

In the meantime, people need to know that even without a nominal public option, the health care reform measure working its way through the Senate Finance Committee is far from toothless. This plan will still cut approximately $500 billion from Medicare, about equivalent in size to just not funding Medicare next year at all. The plan will still levy a hefty tax penalty–$1,900 and up–against any who ignore the individual mandate and refuse to obtain coverage, and provide for jail time for any who ignore the tax (the committee actually defeated an amendment allowing states to opt out of the individual mandate). The plan will still increase the tax burden on small and medium-sized businesses and large manufacturers alike, an additional hardship which will inevitably cost American jobs. And the plan will still mean increased costs and taxes for the average American family, people like you and like me who still debate which bill to pay first and which to ignore because there isn’t enough money to go around.

If we do health care reform, we need to do it right. We should be facilitating a free-market approach to health care, not stifling it. We should be working to make billing and record-keeping practices more uniform and easy to understand in order to make health care workers more efficient, not politicizing which records are maintained and which are not. Whatever we do, we need doctors and patients to take a primary role, not bureaucrats. We need to save what makes our system the envy of the world, and do what’s necessary to make it better — not scrap everything out of concern for matters of social justice and other emotional deficiencies.



  1. Gail B says:

    The more they fight for it, the harder we fight against it.

    Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA-3rd) said tonight that Americans do NOT want a government-run healthcare system.

    I'm not for ANYTHING getting passed into law because of the aggressiveness of the progressive Democrats in their hunger for control over our lives.

    Congressman Westmoreland quoted Pelosi tonight in his teleconference. He said that Pelosi had promised that this administration would be honest, open, and the most ethical of any administration…and that it has been anything BUT THAT. It is not honest, open, or ethical.

  2. Gail B says:

    Congressman Westmoreland also does not have federal health insurance. He has United Healthcare that he got through the State of Georgia when he was a state legislator.

    People on the call were surprised to learn that.

  3. John Feeny says:

    Herein lies a problem -
    Human nature being what it is, and conservatives being what they are by nature, there is absolutely going to be the tendency of a lot of us to hear that 'the public option has been defeated', and to have a mild mental celebration and to withdraw back into the comforts of our daily lives. That's exactly what the Marxists want us to do. I've no doubt that the info that was floated out into the media today about the public option's 'defeat' was an attempt to get mainstrema America to back off, without firing a shot. If people go back to sleep, then we're still going to be in for a whole lot of badness.

  4. Rix says:

    The place I'd like this "reform" to be defeated is the SCOTUS, not the rotten through-and-through Congress. And if the Court hands down a resolution that forcing people to purchase a specific product under the penalty of jail time is constitutional, heck, we will know that the Second Amendment is all we have left and maybe – MAYBE! – will act accordingly.

  5. Gail B says:

    Rix said, "The place I'd like this "reform" to be defeated is the SCOTUS, not the rotten through-and-through Congress."

    My thoughts exactly, Rix. Thanks for saying it for me.

  6. john gordon says:

    My concern with this health care reform, as an Independent, is that it’s all over the place, there are not enough specifics and it must be put into writing and as if “written in stone” so that not every illegal that comes to the US will get free healthcare and those that work hard all their citizen life in US pay for every “Tom, Dick and Harry”

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