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Posted on Jun 18, 2009
Max Baucus

By one estimate, Sen. Max Baucus gets about $1,500 a day from the health industry. Who put this man in charge of health care reform? The senator’s latest innovation in compromise is to slash proposed insurance subsidies in a bid to get Republicans on board. And forget about a government-run insurance program.

Did the American people really fill the White House and both chambers of Congress with Democrats in order to placate Republicans?

AP via Yahoo:

According to a 10-page outline that described the proposal, federal subsidies would be available to help families up to 300 percent of poverty, or $66,000, purchase insurance. An earlier proposal set the level at 400 percent of poverty, or $88,000.

At the same time, the new outline could require higher out of pocket costs from individuals because companies would be permitted to offer policies that cover less of an insured’s anticipated medical costs than was earlier proposed.

Many Democrats want the government to be able to offer insurance in competition with the private industry, a provision they say would hold down costs. But most Republicans are opposed.

The outline presented at meeting with Republicans left the matter open, but suggested creation of nonprofit co-ops to offer insurance, rather than the government. The co-ops could accept federal loans for startup operations, but would have to repay the money.

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By hippie4ever, June 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Western medicine is a fiasco. People spend millions on pharmaceuticals that usually have raw sources, because the system tells them too. Now the system won’t even insure its citizens. Obama recently said that the majority of industrialized nations have single-payer but that the United States is different.

What the POTUS didn’t say, is that China and the U.S. stand alone in the world in the criminal, cruel and inhumane ways they treat their own. And like China, the United States incarcerates a huge number of its citizens who committed crimes mostly because they were poor and desperate and prison beats dying on the streets.

I left this culture decades ago, and I have been my own doctor for as long as I can remember. I suggest getting to know a Chinese herbalist; such people are extremely helpful & the track record for their medicine is at least as good as “ours.” And it’s affordable, natural, and treats the cause instead of the symptom of disease.

Medical cannabis is effective for treatment of chronic pain, nausea, arthritis, ADD, ADHD, depression and a host of related maladies. It’s the reason some of my friends are still with us. I bought two shop lights for $40 at the local hardware, along with four bulbs for another $12. This and a few grow pots is all I need to legally grow (I have a CA license) for my personal use. It’s a lot cheaper than the rubbish medications prescribed by American “doctors” at the bequest of Big Pharmaceuticals, and a lot safer. Nobody has died from cannabis drug interactions.

A friend who teaches chemistry at a major university claims his medical students are too stupid to even properly pour fluid into a beaker. Their commitment to helping others is nonexistent. Beware who you trust with your health, my friends.

Is my response the ideal solution? Maybe, maybe not, but at least I am healthy and free from the bullshit that passes for medicine in this savage nation.

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By grumpynyker, June 19, 2009 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since a large majority of Congressmembers are MILLIONAIRES, cancel THEIR HEALTH COVERAGE/PENSIONS.  Let the President/Vice President et al. scramble to find healthcare for themselves/loved ones.  And ban the hiring of ex-politicians/relatives at lobbying firms period.

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By Cathy, June 19, 2009 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

FeralCat, it’s a shame Montanans can’t get together and recall Baucus.  That would be a hoot.  What an arrogant SOB—and I’m being kind here. 

We need a Daniel Webster to fight the devil that all these guys made a deal with, but I think this lot is beyond redemption.

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By Stephen Smoliar, June 19, 2009 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Hey, Truthdig, did you know that your Google-placed advertising is part of the problem?

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By steve, June 19, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The whole health care debate in this country is a joke.  All smoke and mirrors.  No one is ever going to get any kind of decent affordable health care without taking to the streets.  Bush Cheney and Obama and the rest of the government and corporation heads have theirs…not to mention all those from Blue Cross and the other insurance company crooks and are not about to let anyone else get their hands on any…get ready to take to the streets…or move to Canada or Europe.

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By boggs, June 19, 2009 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

The reason Congress wants to shove this healthcare plan down the pipes hurriedly, now is so people will have time to forget who SCREWED them before mid-term elections.BAUCUS is counting on that we forget.
If a bunch of our large progressive groups would come together to organise a protest we could maybe let Congress know who works for whom.
I would love to wipe that sh*t eating grin of Baucus face by taking his job from him.
He’s about the ugliest puke on Kolor film.

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By FeralCat, June 19, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Max dismissed the protests here as being just the usual disgruntled activists in Montanans for Single Payer.  But that’s not true.  A lot of people showed up at Max’s listening tours never having heard of the group.  No, Max, it’s not a bunch of lefties.  It’s people who are fed up.  I wrote a letter to the editor for single payer.  A guy who had recently written a letter “Obama is a Secret Muslim” came up to me and said he liked my letter and that he was for single payer.  How much more non partisan can you get?

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By thekingofcheap, June 19, 2009 at 6:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m starting to feel angry like that guy who beats his computer monitor and rants about the economy.  I’m uninsured, just finishing my degree, and don’t want to use an insurance company ever again. The last employer-based plan I had wouldn’t even cover wisdom tooth removal. A public option would be at least a bone in my direction.  I thought America was all about choice and freedom, but I guess that’s only true when you are choosing between a thief and a robber to take your money: AIG or Aetna?

Every day I care less and less about what happens to this country and spend more time considering how to move the f*** out of it.

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By Jason!!, June 19, 2009 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

slow down. The real story is Michelle Obama:

Rep. Rush called for a House investigation last week in response to months of patient-dumping complaints, noting: “Congress has a duty to expend its power to mitigate and prevent this despicable practice from continuing in centers that receive federal funds.”

Don’t expect the president to support a probe. While a top executive at the hospital, Mrs. Obama helped engineer the plan to offload low-income patients with non-urgent health needs. Under the Orwellian banner of an “Urban Health Initiative,” Mrs. Obama sold the scheme to outsource low-income care to other facilities as a way to “dramatically improve health care for thousands of South Side residents.” The program guaranteed “free” shuttle rides to and from the outside clinics.

In truth, it was old-fashioned cost-cutting and favor-trading repackaged as minority aid. Clearing out the poor freed up room for insured (i.e., more lucrative) patients.

More from Joe Stephens of the Washington Post

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By Cathy, June 19, 2009 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

I am getting tired of everything being focused on people like me, one of the 50 million or so without insurance.  I could get a crappy policy in my state tomorrow, just like what is being proposed in this bill.  It’s about $259 and with high co-pays, high deductibles and virtually covers nothing.  If I got this policy I could give up any idea of even modicum of dental care and forget about the eye care that I need (I’m one of millions of Americans who wear glasses).  Neither dental nor eye care is covered, nor are prescription drugs. 

Not to mention that this premium is still paid to big insurance.  In other words, it’s a policy that will leave you bankrupt if you really need it.  I would also have to stop eating healthy, give up the few standard supplements that I take every month to battle the severe depression and anxiety that was BigPharma’s gift to me after I took Paxil for six years (didn’t have these problems before taking the drug), give up things like yoga or a message.  As it is I can only do these things now because the people I go to have known me for years and know that I don’t have money.

Anyway, this is the way I see it.  It looks like this is what we are going to get from the bill.  From what I have seen Healthy New York (our plan) is like Massachusetts except it doesn’t have mandates—and we know how well the Massachusetts mess is working out.

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By Magginkat, June 19, 2009 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Quote: “Did the American people really fill the White House and both chambers of Congress with Democrats in order to placate Republicans?”

It’s beginning to look that way.  The other possibility is that key members of Congress are being blackmailed by info gathered by the email intercepting, telephone tapping team of Bush, Cheney, rove, etc.

I don’t know what to believe any more.  It seems that this Congress and Obama are determined to continue what the Bush gang started…..destroying this country from the inside out.

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By Lester Shepherd, June 19, 2009 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Baccus is a blue dog corporatist selfish money hungry bastard.

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By idarad, June 19, 2009 at 5:20 am Link to this comment

re ; hidflect - and there is no protest because we as a people either hate our country or have given it up to the gray suited grafters, either way we can’t get it back til we rid it of the scum

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By G.Anderson, June 19, 2009 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

I’m hoping that if real health care reform is destroyed, by the corporate crooks in Washington, that American’s will consider a national month of protests, including civil disobedience, strikes, and protests, similar to what’s happening in Iran.

Let’s show the world that American’s are willing to take it to the streets too, when their being cheated by a bunch of crooks.

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By everynobody, June 19, 2009 at 5:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As bogi666 says, Obama is all talk and no walk. As Bill Maher says; Obama needs to be more like Bush (god forgive me) and effin LEAD. He (Obama) had a mandate which he is squandering in his misguided attempt to be bipartisan. “F” bipartisanism and get some spine and show some leadership! Times a wasting!

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By bogi666, June 19, 2009 at 4:39 am Link to this comment

The GOP has no health care plan. Their plan is simple,it’s a health insurance plan and it’s “EAT SHIT AND DIE AMERICANS” NO HEALTH CARE is better than the bogeyman “socialized medicine” any/all government options. Why Obama just doesn’t say the EAT SHIT AND DIE GOP non-plan is not a plan it’s a scare tactic. This would require leadership on Obama’s part a quality he doesn’t seem to have.

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By George, June 19, 2009 at 4:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wish we had the fervor of the Iranians.

Barring that, it’s time to make a concerted effort to have these people booted out of office. Period. I don’t care WHO wins any more. Just get them out.

The Democrats are SHIT. The repugnicans are just vile, fascist crap and one expects that from them.

it’s all about the COPROTOCRACY. (A slight change in spelling…points for those who figure out the meanings… smile

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By hidflect, June 19, 2009 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

You get what you pay for…

Since there’s no river of protest, Max “Hardcore” Baucus will assume he’s doin’ the right thing.

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By Bud, June 19, 2009 at 3:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I want the healthcare benefits that jerkwater Baucus and the rest of our alleged congressional REPRESENTATIVES?????enjoy at taxpayer expense.If they can’t provide it for everyone,then a plan should be implimented to deny ALL these creeps these very generous benefits.

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By bogi666, June 19, 2009 at 3:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The GOP, lead by Sen. Grassley, opposition to health quite frankly states THAT NO HEALTH CARE IS BETTER THAN ANY SORT OF A PUBLIC OPTION. In other words the GOP say EAT SHIT and DIE Americans!

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By ExAm, June 19, 2009 at 3:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t believe that we are openly acknowledging and accepting that corporate bribe money is going to these criminals.  What is wrong with the people from Montana?  Are they stupid?  Don’t you understand that these criminals who are supposed to be working for you, have the best insurance out there while they openly oppose you getting any?  While taking money from the insurance lobbys?

I give up!  I think that Amerika is broken and anything short of a revolt is going to fail.  Better hurry though, it is almost to late

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By Shift, June 19, 2009 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

Clean cut people who wear suits are death tokens.

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