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. Reformed Republican

    These senate morons MANDATE that you have health insurance or get fined $1,500.

    That's not health care reform America, that's TYRANNY!

    All this provision will do is drive more people – by government MANDATE -to private insurance companies.

    Now you know why this version of the senate bill is aka:

    September 16, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Mike

    All they did was put more lip stick on the pig. This plan will cost the average tax payer 13,000.00 per year for "mandatory" health care. Where in the Constitution is this authority to mandate Americans to buy health care? What's next food(never mind they want to tax that also).

    September 16, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Post always rejected by CNN

    Sink that plan it stinks....ANY PLAN that does not have the public option is NOT, I repeat NOT acceptable. And ANY democratic senator or representative who approves it, is going to have a hard time getting the democratic base support. AND REMEMBER there are not enough republicans in enough districts to overcome democrats in the next election.

    Republicans might retain their seats in the overly populated republican districts but they are going to have a hard time. Real republicans, ones who love America who want Health Care might be silent and not the loud abrasive, callous and common type running around and screaming and hollering like rush and Fox News tells them do, are going to step up and help vote them out.

    September 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    When you say mandate insurance you mean MAKE PEOPLE BUY INSURANCE, so how is that going to help?

    People don't need insurance they need HEALTHCARE, insurance bastardized the healthcare to begin with.

    Sometimes I wish we were in China so we could take the insurance CEO's line them up on the wall and ....

    Well, they (CEO's) do make life and death decisions for others and they don't take care into account what is the best thing for the patient, just what is more profitable, so that would be akin to murder wouldn't it?

    September 16, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. I Am the Great and Powerful Rushracist of Oz

    Baucus gives away everything to try to get RebirtherTea party support and they tell him "NO".

    Pass the public option.
    Screw the party of racists, er party of no.

    September 16, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Barbin

    Max Baucus and his committee members need to go back and rethink this. It is necessary to include a public option. Look at it this way: There are 45 million individuals without insurance. The President says that 5% of these will be covered by the public option. This means that 2.25 million people will be covered by the public option. That is, 2.25 million people out of a total U.S. population of 300+ people. That's not many. Besides, we have a moral obligation to do this.

    September 16, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    God I have such a problem with MANDATING insurance, all that means is that it would make it a CRIME NOT to pay the insurance companies, this is an insurance company's wet dream.

    We need a public option so that people can chose whether to pay an extra 10 dollars in taxes and get the government insurance, or opt out of that 10 dollars and pay the insurance company $1200 a month for their family coverage so they can be denied healthcare by the insurance companies when they need it the most.

    September 16, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Obama Victim

    Repubs should just step back and let the Dems hang themselves...........

    September 16, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. Andrew

    Public option or bust. You can see the republicans work in this. Force people to get healthcare without including the measures need to lower health care cost (public option). Republicans are shaping this bill to benefit their health insurance backers as much as possible. Don't lower costs while at the same time keeping the requirement for health insurance. Absolutely disgusting.

    September 16, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Ain't life strange?

    As an employee you only have one company to choose from and that's the one your employer picks. Within the company offered, employees have two or three selections from which they can choose based upon what they can afford not what their needs are. How is that real choice? A comany I worked for for 9 years changed insurance companies six times. This opened up problems with pre-existing conditions, necessity of changing primary care physicians and always brought about higher costs for the empoyees. With health care reform, employees will have far more latitude to determine what's best for them, not necessarily what their employer offers. As for those who are under insured or not insured at all, the only option is a public option. The last time I had to pay a premium for insurance (8 years ago) it ran me $170 a week for a family plan. Pretty steep when you consider I only netted $525 a week. More Americans then you think need help. Or, does the greedy, selfish opponents think they got their's, we should get ours?

    September 16, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. RonC

    There is absolutely zero humor in some of the responses on here. Instead of actually reading a bill that is in the proposal stage, many rear up and condem when nothing is known about the particular subject. Repubs will never ever agree to anything due to their political connections and it would be such a dastardley deal if we actually got Health Care rather than thousands of foreclosures per day. Billions a month is okay for war!!!

    September 16, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Gary's Opinion

    At least Baucus is trying to compromise....Pelosi and Reid are too extreme and too advasarial. I'll take a look at his proposal in detail to see what it says. Can we please get rid of Pelosi and Reid????

    September 16, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. Scott L

    Down goes America! Down goes America! Down goes America!

    September 16, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Voted4HealthCare

    Sen. Baucus needs to implement the bill from the House Energy and Commerce Committee that includes conservative support for a reasonable public option.

    The Party of No will NOT compromise for any bill, even with co-ops. Forget these obstructionists and pass a public option supported by the majority of Americans.

    A trigger is even better than co-ops for real health-care reforms.

    September 16, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. They call me "Tater Salad"

    How are you going to "mandate" people to have insurance who can't afford it because the insurance industry keeps raising it's premiums and co-pays and reducing what it will agree to cover, while hiding behind a weak excuse like frivilous medical malpractice lawsuits, just to protect it's "bottom line"?So if doctor Jones down the street reads a chart wrong and mistakenly aputates the wrong limb (it happens) he suddenly has rights and the poor sap on the table doesn't? Give me a break!!!!!!

    September 16, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. Moosehead

    Senator Baucus should step aside, he's proven himself to be a hindrance to real heath care reform,... all this time and work,.. and still no public option? Obama should give these clowns an ultimatum,... public option, or institute the single payer system

    September 16, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Mike in MN

    Looks like the House bill will have the public option and the Senate bill will not.
    Last I heard too many liberal Dems will not vote for a bill without the public option for it to pass and too many Blue Dog Dems will not vote for a bill with a public option for it to pass. And Republicans are powerless to stop a bill with or without a public option.
    Democrats are in total control, except that is of themselves. I wonder if they really will get a bill passed this year or ever.

    September 16, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. The-cost-of-refrom...


    They are laughing all the way to their vaults stacked-up high with
    BAIL-OUT-$$$$-BILLIONS...wHO ? "THEM" ...they of the financial
    institutions and still UNREGULATED they are payimg themselves
    hefty bonuses and living the good life while the American taxpayers
    are struggling to make ends meet....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. FactCheck

    "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."

    Well, I guess you don't get coverage then.

    September 16, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Pragmatic

    Since 1999, health insurance premiums for families rose 131%, the report found, far more than the general rate of inflation, which increased 28% over the same period.

    An amendment, sponsored by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, would replace the nearly unlimited health care coverage provided by Medicare with vouchers that future senior citizens would use to buy private health insurance. Unlike Medicare, the vouchers would provide a fixed benefit to recipients

    This is what the GOP wants: status quo – or reform that will do as much harm to your health care costs as they can possibly do!

    September 16, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Fair is Fair

    "The President says that 5% of these will be covered by the public option. This means that 2.25 million people will be covered by the public option. That is, 2.25 million people out of a total U.S. population of 300+ people. That's not many."

    Actually the president said 5% of Americans would be in the public option (not 5% of the uninsured – check it)... a total of 15 million. That would make it the second largest group insurance policy in existance – behind Medicare.

    Medicare is going broke because it is an adverse risk pool. The public option would be no different.

    September 16, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    The Republicans are afraid of something about it because Pres Obama is not white? Or, is it because the insurance are just that....insuring for the profit of their stock holders and executives? Check out the commissions paid on first year premiums, check out when all of a sudden YOU have a pre-existing condition or you have to return for more surgery for the same problem more than once....? Are you covered? What if you need diaysis for the rest of your life? Is your "lifetime maximum" actually enough?

    September 16, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. They call me "Tater Salad"

    Health care reform without a public option is NOT Healthcare reform at all, and any politician who votes against a public option Republican or Democrat should probably start sending out their resume now, cause they'll be out of a job come 2010! "We the people" can and will make that happen! The time for playing "cowboys and indians" is over for you unproductive, wastes of taxpayer money! SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Right-Wing Republicans are WRONG-THINKING Americans

    How in the world can anyone take seriously a bill put forward by the senator who has taken more campaign contributions from insurance companies than ANY other congressman or woman??? Over $3 million dollars in campaign contributions in the last 6 years is what Baucus took from insurance companies and their lobbyists and THIS is the golden boy we're expecting to put forth a good insurance reform bill??? Throw this bill OUT along with the bum who's responsible for it!!!!

    September 16, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

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

    No way. I don't have any interest at all in another trillion-dollar give-away of money we don't have, nor do I have any interest in government bureaucrats forcing me to do things.

    September 16, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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