September 17th, 2009
10:07 AM ET

What's in Baucus' health care proposal?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/16/health.care.key.points/art.baucus.press.cnn.jpg caption="Sen. Max Baucus revealed a health care reform plan that does not include a public option but mandates coverage."]


Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, unveiled a summary of his proposed health care plan Monday. The main points include:

* $856 billion over 10 years and mandatory insurance coverage for every American by 2013.
* Baucus claims the bill would not add to the federal deficit.
* The plan is financed by more than $500 billion in various spending reductions, including Medicare, while calling for almost $350 billion in new taxes and fees.
* Insurers would be hit with $6 billion in new fees, with another $4 billion coming from the medical device manufacturing sector.
* Smaller sums would come from drug makers and clinical laboratories.

Changes to Medicaid/Medicare/CHIP:
* Medicaid eligibility would be standardized for everyone who has an income of up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Heather

    I wonder if the people who are against the public health option because they don't want to pay for other people's health care, realize that they are already paying for the unisured's health care through higher premiums, higher drug costs, higher medical service costs, higher hospital charges, etc...

    September 17, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  2. perri

    I think anyone in Congress who votes against health care reform should have to give up his or her publicly funded health insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  3. Eddie

    I just got a notice from my employer that my cost of health insurance is going up next year. Now this senator wants to punish me for not having insurance. Just once in the history of the country I wish PEOPLE would except that it doesn't matter whether you are (D), (R) or independent politicans are in it for the numbers. Not Obama nor any congressman wants to really help out. Obama should have his own townhall meeting and not the ones that are staged with only certain questions approved for the president. I would love to ask him what he is doing for me. The speech he had a few weeks ago on health reform was week. He told us to support him, what was not on his agenda, but NEVER gave meat as to what his bill would be. Sure we don't to lose Medicare, and pay for the cover of illegal immigrants but WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR ME. Oh yeah I am registered as a democrate.

    September 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  4. Conserve' in USA

    How about no new taxes for Americans making less than $250,000 a year? What happened to this compaign promise? This is one of many that has been broken!

    September 17, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  5. Joanna

    What really upsets me about the whole thing, is the way the public health option seems to have been tabled. That is so unfortunate, especially since that would have covered all the people who truly need coverage, but can't afford it. Now, this plan doesn't seem to offer anything that would help the people who fall in the cracks – which is what I thought was the whole idea behind the reform. The hundreds of people who don't have insurance – because they can't afford it – are the ones who make up the number of uninsured in this country. What has happened is legislature are cozying up to insurance companies – like we're surprised at this. Basically, nothing will be accomplished for the people who really need the change. Thanks Republicans!

    September 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  6. alexlyrics

    I can't recall ever seeing so many racist comments on blogs, in town halls, in public, and all over the country. I have read more hate in these blogs.
    I have read many of Rick Sanchez's blogs. I feel bad or Rick Sanchez in these times. I have seen people ask Rick to use a dictionary; I have read blogs where Rick is told, "This is America Rick, not Mexico or south America. "

    I have heard more ignorance toward Rick Sanchez a minority CNN reporter than I care to repeat. I can only say that race is at the forefront of this countries anger.

    There are some, and not all who truly are angry at a black male being president. It took Jimmy Carter to stand up and admit it.

    I say to those who will listen, white, Black, Asian, and Latino please don't allow this to detour you from your rights to a better healthcare and lower cost affordable healthcare.

    For many centuries the same types of people have used these tactics of divide and conqueror. Dividing people such as African tribes, Native American Tribes, Hawaiian people, and then defeating them in war while they were weak.

    If we are distracted, and divided with race issues, we will be weak at the polls where our votes count the most.

    Remember we voted for change, and this is exactly the type of change we need. Obama has shown that he cannot be bought. These republicans have taken large amounts of money to support the insurance companies, and large companies who need this bill to fail in order for them to rape or pockets still.

    Obama has shown that he cannot be bought and this has angered the republican senators and congressmen. It took a black man to stand up and fight for what is right, and history will show that Obama is and will be one of our nations most successful presidents ever.

    A wise man once told me to follow the money trail, and every thing will make sense, every motive, and every action one takes or has taken. The truth will come to light in the end.

    I ask all Americans to follow the money trail of this bill and this debate, and where the money is going. Look and see why these republicans are acting in this manner, and just how much money they are being paid for their votes.
    We need campaign contribution reform. Our government is not for sale, and I think Obama said this on his campaign trail.

    Follow the money trail and don't allow conqurored and us to be divided.

    September 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  7. Roy J. Meidinger

    A nor-for-profit government run health care option would increase competition, drive down costs in the private sector, increase quality of service for all. Any displaced or un-employed insurance company workers can be moved over to the manufacturing sectors, where costs have been lowered and we can start to eliminate ubiquitous foreign trade marks like "made in china" , "made in japan", and made in korea" and replace it with "made in U.S.A"

    September 17, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  8. Heather

    Okay, here is my 2 cents-
    If mandatory health isurance passes as a bill I will be truely disappointed in our lawmakers. What happened to freedom? You want to talk about a loss of democracy, here is the first step. I do not want any one telling me I have to buy something. You may say, "Well, liability insurance on a vehicle is mandatory," but driving is a privlige, LIFE is a right.
    Honestly, I think making it mandatory will cause the welfare system to become a popular way of life. Consider this: A working poor family with no insurance is just barely making it. Add another montly bill to their already overstretched budget and make it ILLEGAL to not pay it so something has to give. Wouldn't the welfare system look much easier to that family. They still have no money, but they have medicaid and are not doing anything illegal by skipping one bill to pay others.
    What's wrong with just expanding the income levels for Medicaid qualifications and add copays to higher income level participants.
    ARKids 1st in Arkansas is a great example of such a program.

    September 17, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  9. Roy J. Meidinger

    New Senate proposed bill will favor Health Insurance companies, require all people to buy insurance no matter what the cost, require insurance companies to increase their coverage of pre-existing which the insurance companies will pass on, the new competition will be ineffective not-for-profit cooperatives who have to negotiate with thousands of health care providers, an increase the money spent by the government by $856 Billion,of course the Republicans will sign on to the bill, So where is the savings where is the change.

    September 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  10. Wanda Felty

    I see that Vice President Chaney is having elective back surgery. I assume he has good insurance that will cover most of the expense. I, on the other hand, would have to pay over $1,000. to stay in the hospital, plus 20% of what Medicare allows for the surgery, that could be a thousand or more. I only have medicare because the insurance suppliments that I could get would be too high for me to pay the premiums. I elected not to have any more back surgery because of this. I will probably be in a wheelchair in 5 years, I hope Chaney fairs better.

    September 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  11. marisa

    May as well have left it broken - no public option, mandatory coverage – which will give these ineffective and profit driven insurance companies millions of more customers, more cuts? Seems like its going from bad to worse.

    September 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  12. Heather,ca

    Yes, let's fine people thousands of dollars if either they are unemployed or just can't afford health insurance. What a logical thing to do.

    September 17, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  13. Joyce Clark

    Where is the ACORN story? You have no mention of what is apparently a very news worthy story. Even if Fox News "discovered" the events, news medias from every news networks should be at least giving the American people information about what is happening to our tax payer dollars.
    Again and again these issues arise that have angered the American people to the point of protests in the streets. Our hard earned tax dollars are being freely given to unworthy causes, and in this case, an organization who is actually working against the tax system that is giving them the money.! (Telling people how to get around paying taxes).
    I am 62 years old and my husband lost his job of 28 years in Dec 08. I for one am tired of working so hard and seeing my tax dollars going to the likes of Acorn or stimulus hand outs when we are struggling just to pay our bills. If there is money to "bail out" what about helping the working class in this country who are carrying the burden?
    Thank you for listening.

    September 17, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  14. Conserve' for USA

    I guess you can't fix stupid!

    September 17, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  15. Conserve' for USA

    Where's the tort reform?

    September 17, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  16. Melissa

    Ok, so what I see is that the Insurance companies get to make more money by gvt mandating that everyone MUST have insurance even if they can't afford it, and no government help for those that can't afford it.

    This doesn't work, and its one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. It doesn't help anything at all.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  17. Marcia

    Quick question... Do you guys know who Acorn is?? If so, anything interesting going on with them lately? Did you also hear the Berlin Wall came down, we landed on the moon, and you got scooped by a sophomore in college. Maybe racism fueled your inability to report news! Or does saying that make me a racist? Where would this country be without Fox News?!?!

    September 17, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  18. Julie

    A Health Insurance reform plan without a public option is going to be ineffective... how can people complain about the government making decisions when insurance companies are already doing it? Why are middle class people having "tea parties" to protest taxes when repeal of tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations would solve our tax problems? Health care reform IS a matter of life and death to many Americans. It is also a productivity and quality of life issue. I am one of many Americans whose basic life decisions are dictated by health insurance accessibility and affordability. Our country is quickly losing it's competitive edge because our health care system does not serve the public well, only big corporations.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  19. J.A.K.Riley

    So with this bill, if someone loses their job they will be fined for not having health insurance? I know their will be a solution but I think it is yet to come. This is great, the wheels are turning. Maybe in a peaceful manor we will solve this. I think the public option has to stay if you are going to be charged a fine for not having coverage. Their has to be a safety net because life is too unpredictable, we have enough people killing their self because it is to hard to cope sometimes. This life has to get real, in a real realm with real everyday people.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  20. Diana Kley

    Why doesn't anyone do the calculations of how much it has cost us over the last ten years due to not fixing the health care system. For example if you just take the 5 to 10 million people under age 65 who pay for their own private health insurance, my calculations show it has cost these people alone in the trillions just for one year. I am so tired of hearing about the trillions it will cost to have health reform if someone doesn't get some figures out there on not fixing it, I will scream!!!

    September 17, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  21. Cindy

    What a joke!!

    So let's see..

    Mandatory insurance means what people...you HAVE to get it or they charge you a HUGE fine!

    It won't add to the deficit...That is a joke! Every top economist out there says there is NO WAY that Obama can pay for this and it not raise our deficit. Obama's numbers are WAY off.

    Insurers being hit with fees...HELLO..how do people think these insurance companies will handle that! The same way they do now. They will throw off that cost onto their customers.

    I could go on and on but what's the use. It's all a joke and a pack of lies! If you want to see how the government runs things then look at Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and even the post office...they ALL are bankrupt!! So why do people think that the health care thing will be any different!? Wake up people!!


    September 17, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  22. Enough

    So these fools really think that they can charge a "fee" to the insurance companies and it won't be passed on to consumers...........yeah right, get a clue. Not raise the Deficit? Are they willing to put their money where their mouths are? Their fuzzy math does NOT add up and we all know the government can't run anything. Why would you want them messing with your life? It is a matter of life and death.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  23. Teresa, Oh

    Sounds like a mighty fine plan. Punish those who have the most money– the insurance companies... I noticed none of them needed a bailout this past year.

    re: Undocumented immigrants would not be allowed to buy insurance plans. If an undocumented Immigrant goes to the hospital with bullet in his leg, will he be refused treatment or how will this go?

    September 17, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  24. Alice, AR

    It is a start, but does not go far enough. Insurance companies should not be allowed to deny claims because a person unknowlingly omits something from their original application. I like the wording concerning abortions and illegal aliens.

    My question is, how accessible is this co-op option going to be for the middle class? The middle class tends to be left out of everything. They work the hardest, pay the most taxes and tend to get the least from our government.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:26 am |