The Senate Finance Committee this afternoon approved what one panel member called “a down payment” onhealth care reform. By a 14-9 vote, the committee approved a bill that Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) says is ”a down payment and…the start of reforms.”
Joining all 13 Democrats on the committee was Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).
The committee bill, crafted for the most part by Sen.Max Baucus (D-Mont.), provides important insuranceindustry reforms and improvements in how health care is delivered and paid for with a focus on quality over quantity.
Yet, the committee bill taxes workers’ health care benefits through its tax on certain premiums. It also does not include a public health insurance plan option that would give workers a choice between private insurance and an affordable, quality public option.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says a public insurance option is essential for cutting costs and “will keep the feet of the insurers to the fire.” He said he will fight for that when the bill moves to the floor.
The next step is to merge the bill with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee legislation that includes a public option and doesn’t tax workers’ health benefits. That could be on the Senate floor later this month. House action likely will come soon after the Senate moves.
Cantwell says she expects opposition from the insurance industry to grow even stronger as reform moves closer to passage. She notes the health insurance industry spent more than $263 million in lobbying in just the first six months of this year.
The Baucus Elegy
--Found Language from Speech Outlining Healthcare Plan, on Senate Floor, Oct 7 2009. Sent to Sen. Baucus Oct 12 2009,—
from Prefab Eulogies
Dear Madam Secretary
I believe that with AHFC
I think I can speak for every Senator
We have a strong alternative (SA) to universal healthcare (MARX)
This bill will provide (TBWP):
If I were the president, I would be very concerned
SHOP, and with approval from HHS, MARK, and with approval
from MARK, TC!
TC will be provided to all parents (AP) who fall below FPL
Part D (PARTD) will receive aid through (RAT) PDP
Now is not the time to open the border to receive Canadian beef
While CHIP will go untouched through (GOT) 2013
Then, FLP eligible customers (FLPEC) will be eligible for EPSTD and be designated by MARK
Moreover, FPLECEPSD will RAT AHCD, which will be increased by 2011
Moreover, HSAs will be significant for most significant illnesses (MSILL)
The Senate is a remarkable institution.
Unless FLPECEDPSD CHIPS are immigrants or undocumented workers (IMOU)
MARK will also form COOPS, which can further offset (FOFF) AGI
AHFC, MS encourages states to form USPSTFs, as recommended by ACIP
PQRI will be strengthened by 2011
MARK will encourage (WE) HHS members to be primary care providers (PCP) f
For about 5 years (5yrs) after which time the program will be phased out (AWTPWPO)
FLEX will likewise be encouraged to donate their services (LED)
And then be phased out (ANBPO)
We believe, MS, that with AHFC and its MARK we’ll be able
To save billions of dollars yearly (BODY)
Don't worry about your health care.
I yield the floor (IYTF)
*This bill is supported by UGH