September 16th, 2009
11:08 AM ET
11 years ago

Key senator unveils long-awaited health-care proposal

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Sen. Max Baucus will reveal his panel's compromise health care reform plan on Wednesday."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee unveiled a summary of his long-awaited health-care plan Wednesday, setting the stage for a legislative showdown on President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

The bill, crafted by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, would cost $856 billion over 10 years and mandate insurance coverage for every American.

In a written statement, Baucus claimed the bill - released with no Republican support - would not add to the federal deficit.

The measure drops the public-health-insurance option favored by Obama and many Democratic leaders, according to the summary. As expected, the plan instead calls for the creation of non-profit health-care cooperatives.

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Sam Sixpack

    And it includes pulling the plug on grandma.

    September 16, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. Sam Sixpack

    And it includes a requirement that Americans give all they can "afford" to insurance execs.

    September 16, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Eleanor

    No public-option...MEANS NO SUPPORT from us!! You'd better rethink that Baucus!

    September 16, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Sam Sixpack

    President Obama’s new Special Advisor for Health Policy, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, explains how we are going to save all that money.

    He writes, "services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."

    September 16, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Sean D

    A co-op IS a public option...... Have the "Higher Ups" really gotten so arrogant they think we are all sheep? Do they really believe that we have all forgotten how to think critically. This is getting out of hand.

    September 16, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. Alex

    Okay, so the GOP didn't like the public option and now that it's gone, they oppose the bill. They supported a co-op system and now that it's in the bill, they still oppose the bill.

    McConnell then criticizes the bill for scaling back on Medicare... um, what? I thought they were against government run insurance in the first place... like um.... Medicare. So why now do they criticize?


    September 16, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. MCD, SF, CA

    O.K. so the insurers can't drop you but... will they pay for any medical procedures you need? Or will they make everybody fight tooth and nail to be allowed to have necessary procedures?

    There will be no change unless there is public or gov-run healthcare. The Congress has one, why can't The People?

    September 16, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Bob in Pa

    If we are dropping the Public option, how on earth does this plan still cost would cost $856 billion? Something smells mighty fishy boys.
    Go back and start over again.

    September 16, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Dave

    Wow, ONLY $856 billion! Sounds like a real bargain.

    Only $500 billion taken from Medicare which I hope seniors don't mind.

    And if I don't want to pay the $3500 cost of an individual policy, I can take a $950 fine instead and still hit the emergency room. Sweet!

    September 16, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Sam Sixpack

    The plan would be paid for with $507 billion in cuts to government health programs and $349 billion in new taxes and fees.

    Who says we're not pulling the plug on grandma?

    September 16, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. AJ

    Any plan without a public option needs to be flatly rejected otherwise its just another mandate that help enrich the insurance industry. This is a bad bill!!

    September 16, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Jannie, OH

    The GOPers weren't thinking about healthcare or the people until the Dems forced their hand. Since they can't stomach the Democratic healthcare bill, they want to jump on the bandwagon and PRETEND they were always going to do something about healthcare. WRONG. They were going to continue to take money from the insurance companies, get great healthcare from the government and let the rest of us eat cake.

    Kudos to President Obama for ignoring them once he realized they were never serious.

    Obama/Biden 2012 I can't wait to vote for them again.

    September 16, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. AJ

    Notice who is included in the top ten campaign donors for Baucus:

    1 Schering-Plough Corp $76,200 $64,200 $12,000
    2 Goldman Sachs $47,900 $47,900 $0
    3 KKR & Co $47,000 $47,000 $0
    4 American International Group $46,750 $37,000 $9,750
    5 Aetna Inc $45,250 $35,250 $10,000
    5 Amgen Inc $45,250 $35,250 $10,000
    7 New York Life Insurance $41,650 $41,650 $0
    8 DaVita Inc $41,350 $36,600 $4,750
    9 Blue Cross/Blue Shield $41,100 $21,600 $19,500
    10 American Express $39,800 $29,800 $10,000

    September 16, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. williefloyd

    A poor compromise accomplishes nothing. Without a public option they would be just as well to leave things as they are. Just proves Reps. and the Dems. who are in the pockets of Ins. lobbyists care nothing about middle class Americans.

    September 16, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Lemonton

    Baucus bill has some positives thy must included in the final bill. However it is mainly another giveaway of taxpayers money to the interests this time the insurance companies. The co-op idea is crap as it doesn't have any theeth to keep insurance companies honest or promote real competition. Insurance companies feel happy and very comfortable with co-ops. The American people do not!

    September 16, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Sam

    If all must have insurance and are forced to have insurance how is this not being in the hands of giving cash to the insurance companies? Once something starts its always twice as hard to stop the train. remember the catholic church and others are Non-profit and I bet they have more cash then most homes. Its just hidden and given more tax breaks. How much does the Ceos of Non profits like United way Red cross and others make in a year

    September 16, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. he soxus us with a caucus from the Baucus

    no public option, are we any better off with your proposal?

    September 16, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Sick of it

    I think Obama and the congressional Democrats need to give up on trying to make this a bipartisan effort. Don't they understand? The republicans will NEVER support ANY kind of health care reform. Not because they are worried about a growing government. Not because they are scared their grandparents will be killed by death panels. Not because they worry about immigrants or abortion. Not because of concern over the deficit. The reason Republicans will never support health care reform- they are afraid it just might work. After 8 disastrous years of Bush, the Republicans only choice is to keep this administration from accomplishing anything to better the lives of the American people. Otherwise… it's bye-bye Republican party.

    September 16, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. Nick

    So this is an "option" – BAH! The "fat cat" insurance companies can increase premiums hell-bent-for-election to cover the "new" risk mandatred by this bill but people with little or money will be fined $3800.00 if they cannot afford the gouging at the hands of greedy Republican Insurance Executives...????? Yes sir... this is an option every callous stonehearted Republicans can favor and savor.

    September 16, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. Proud Member..Party of No

    One week after President Obama’s speech to Congress, opposition to his health care reform plan has reached a new high of 55%. The latest Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll shows that just 42% now support the plan, matching the low first reached in August.

    September 16, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Sam Sixpack

    Many Americans will soon be required to pay all they can "afford" to fat, greedy insurance execs for health insurance policies with deductables so high, they can't actually "afford" any health care.

    September 16, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Chuck in California

    Now discussion should begin after the bill is read and understood.

    September 16, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. rr

    Why don't any of these democrat plans contain one simple solution to bring the cost of health insurance down: Allow people to cross state lines to shop for insurance and shop all over the country for the best policy.

    Notice you don't see commercials for health insurance like you do for Progressive auto insurance where you can compare rates and plans. It's because people are very limited by their states to what plans they can choose from. Ninety percent of everyone in Alabama, for example, that has private insurance has it from ONE company. Is that competition and free market? NO!

    September 16, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Chris from NC

    The Dems have already the Republicans enough chances to join a bipartisan bill, as well as enough rope to hang themselves with. Hopefully, the rest of the country will figure out that they don't want to be part of any solution to our broken health system. I also hope the Democrats will have the guts to push this through even if they have to use reconciliation.

    September 16, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. Angie in PA

    So this guy who is in bed with the Lobbisit Dropped the Public Option. And went with the Co-Ops In which some states already have and really dont work that great anyway! pathetic!

    September 16, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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