Skip to comments.Public Option Lite (The Baucus Bill)
Posted on 09/16/2009 7:39:02 PM PDT by St. Louis Conservative
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus finally unveiled his health-care plan yesterday to a chorus of bipartisan jeers. The reaction is surprising given that President Obama all but endorsed the outlines of the Baucus plan last week. But the hoots are only going to grow louder as more people read what he's actually proposing.
The headline is that Mr. Baucus has dropped the unpopular "public option," but this is a political offering without much policy difference. His plan remains a public option by other means, imposing vast new national insurance regulation, huge new subsidies to pay for the higher insurance costs this regulation will require and all financed by new taxes and penalties on businesses, individuals and health-care providers. Other than that, Hippocrates, the plan does no harm.
*** 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.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Using the words of Obama, “If You put Lipstick on a Pig, it’s still a Pig”
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