(Thumbnail image from The New York Times)

 

“After so many months and so many pitched battles over health care, finally today we have an actual proposal to debate!” (CNN)

The Senate finance committee released their highly anticipated health care reform proposal today with the plan coming in at $856 million. Senator Baucus spearheaded the effort in the past months and continues to be the bill’s lightning rod.  The proposal has even been dubbed Baucus’ Bill.

We’re looking at perspectives from The New York Times, MSNBC, FOX News, LilSis.org, The Wall Street Journal and Trueslant.com.


First let’s look at littlesis.org, a watchdog that investigates politician’s financial ties to lobbyists and industry. The blog blasts the legitimacy of the plan, saying that a key Baucus staffer Liz Fowler, who is listed as an author on the plan, is a former insurance and pharma lobbyist. And, Baucus’ previous chief health advisor is now also working on K street.


“The core components of the plan — the Part D prescription drug benefit and Medicare Advantage — have been criticized as major giveaways and subsidies to big healthcare interests, at the expense of older Americans.”

FOX News paints Baucus as a rogue force, leaving bi-partisanship in the dust.

“He will be standing at that podium all by his lonesome. Because after month of negotiations, with the bipartisan gang of six, including 3 republicans and 3 democrats, as well as inputs from various different people on the finance committee, none of them have agreed to support this. It was supposed to be bi-partisan and the senate chairman will be doing this basically by himself.”

True/Slant.com’s Justin Gardner points that compromise must come from both sides and Democrats shouldn’t sacrifice the heart of the bill to look bipartisan.

“Personally I think that would be a really bad political move, but it would mean Dems could pass the bill they want with a robust public option instead of a compromise built on shaky bi-partisan support…and that’s attractive to a lot of Dems.”

Senator Tom Clark of Delaware, a member of the finance committee, talks to anchor Erin Burnett on MSNBC.  She asks him if it is truly possible for taxes to stay where they are.

“There would be fees on insurers, device makers and drug makers, that the President obviously referred to in his address to the nation. I’ve spoken to CEOs in all three of those areas and they will admit directly that they will pass that on to consumers, so it is a tax that would be born by the American public. Um, why not just call it that?”

The New York Times’ health care reform blog takes a different approach – posting the 233-page document for readers to look over themselves. The reporting is focused on the political process that will lead to the eventual passing of a health care bill.

“Once Mr. Baucus puts out his proposal, the committee will go over it in an executive session. The senators on the committee, 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans, will also be given a deadline for submitting any amendments. And there will be a torrent of them on both sides."

So, Baucus’ proposal is up for public discussion.  We want to hear what you think about it.

On an Island for Health Care Reform

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Sep 17, 2009

On an Island for Health Care Reform

(Thumbnail image from The New York Times)

 

“After so many months and so many pitched battles over health care, finally today we have an actual proposal to debate!” (CNN)

The Senate finance committee released their highly anticipated health care reform proposal today with the plan coming in at $856 million. Senator Baucus spearheaded the effort in the past months and continues to be the bill’s lightning rod.  The proposal has even been dubbed Baucus’ Bill.

We’re looking at perspectives from The New York Times, MSNBC, FOX News, LilSis.org, The Wall Street Journal and Trueslant.com.


First let’s look at littlesis.org, a watchdog that investigates politician’s financial ties to lobbyists and industry. The blog blasts the legitimacy of the plan, saying that a key Baucus staffer Liz Fowler, who is listed as an author on the plan, is a former insurance and pharma lobbyist. And, Baucus’ previous chief health advisor is now also working on K street.


“The core components of the plan — the Part D prescription drug benefit and Medicare Advantage — have been criticized as major giveaways and subsidies to big healthcare interests, at the expense of older Americans.”

FOX News paints Baucus as a rogue force, leaving bi-partisanship in the dust.

“He will be standing at that podium all by his lonesome. Because after month of negotiations, with the bipartisan gang of six, including 3 republicans and 3 democrats, as well as inputs from various different people on the finance committee, none of them have agreed to support this. It was supposed to be bi-partisan and the senate chairman will be doing this basically by himself.”

True/Slant.com’s Justin Gardner points that compromise must come from both sides and Democrats shouldn’t sacrifice the heart of the bill to look bipartisan.

“Personally I think that would be a really bad political move, but it would mean Dems could pass the bill they want with a robust public option instead of a compromise built on shaky bi-partisan support…and that’s attractive to a lot of Dems.”

Senator Tom Clark of Delaware, a member of the finance committee, talks to anchor Erin Burnett on MSNBC.  She asks him if it is truly possible for taxes to stay where they are.

“There would be fees on insurers, device makers and drug makers, that the President obviously referred to in his address to the nation. I’ve spoken to CEOs in all three of those areas and they will admit directly that they will pass that on to consumers, so it is a tax that would be born by the American public. Um, why not just call it that?”

The New York Times’ health care reform blog takes a different approach – posting the 233-page document for readers to look over themselves. The reporting is focused on the political process that will lead to the eventual passing of a health care bill.

“Once Mr. Baucus puts out his proposal, the committee will go over it in an executive session. The senators on the committee, 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans, will also be given a deadline for submitting any amendments. And there will be a torrent of them on both sides."

So, Baucus’ proposal is up for public discussion.  We want to hear what you think about it.
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