The fate of the health care overhaul largely rests on the shoulders of six senators who since June 17 have gathered — often twice a day, and for many hours at a stretch — in a conference room with burnt sienna walls, in the office of the Senate Finance Committee chairman, Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana.
President Obama and Congressional leaders agree that if a bipartisan deal can be forged on health care, it will emerge from this conference room, with a huge map of Montana on one wall and photos of Mike Mansfield, the Montanan who was the longest-serving Senate majority leader, on the other.
The battle over health care is all but paralyzed as everyone awaits the outcome of their talks.
When I read this this morning I got really mad:
Already, the group of six has tossed aside the idea of a government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers, which the president supports but Republicans said was a deal-breaker.
Instead, they are proposing a network of private, nonprofit cooperatives.
They have also dismissed the House Democratic plan to pay for the bill’s roughly $1 trillion, 10-year cost partly with an income surtax on high earners.
The three Republicans have insisted that any new taxes come from within the health care arena. As one option, Democrats have proposed taxing high-end insurance plans with values exceeding $25,000.
The Senate group also seems prepared to drop a requirement, included in other versions of the legislation, that employers offer coverage to their workers. …
…In the House, centrist Democrats have temporarily stalled the health care bill, many lawmakers want to see what Mr. Baucus’s group produces before voting on tax increases in the House bill.
Think about it, the lives of millions of Americans rest with this crew that in some degree or another are essentially owned by Big Pharma and the health insurance industry. That they are holding the keys to the future of America is absolutely outrageous. The is the complete and utter failure of American democracy writ large by a very small part of America.
Based on 2008 state populations these six senators represent a total of 8,444,956 people. That's roughly the population of New York City yet they are going to ignore 78% of entire country who want a public option and health care available to all at reasonable cost.
My favorite quote:
“If this is the only bill with bipartisan support,” Ms. Snowe said, “that will really resonate. It could be the linchpin for broad bipartisan agreement.”
If you care and haven't called your representatives and written emails then you should do so. Elections should have consequences and the insane pursuit of 'bipartisan' does not reflect the results of the last election. The Democrats control the entire government...end of discussion and we don't need 'bipartisan anything' to pass something so badly needed by Americans. This is not just about health care but the future economic viability of America to compete on a global basis. If we don't get a very progressive change to how health care in the country is delivered then we will finally know that our elected officials just see us as worthless peasants and that we should just toil and serve and shut up. They have their 'government run health care' and the rest of us can just SFU and die.