Baucus Plan: No One Likes It, So It Must Be Good

Conservative Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana unveiled his long-awaited health reform proposal yesterday, the results of weeks of negotiations among the Senate Finance Committee’s so-called “Gang of Six”–three Democrats from the right-wing of their party and three moderate-to-conservative Republicans. The bill (unsurprisingly) does not include a public option andcouldend up leavingmiddle-income Americans paying too much for health insurance (Think Progress, 9/15/09). At the same time, no Republican–including those in the Baucus’ Gang–has indicated that they intend to vote for this bill. But some of the early media coverage seems to find it encouraging that the Baucus bill pleases almost […]


The Way They See the World

The big news in the health reform debate is that the White House seems to be willing to give up on the “public option,” a government insurance program that would compete with private insurers. Everyone sees this as a big story, but there’s something revealing about the way the Washington Post‘s Ceci Conollyled her piece: Racing to regain control of the health-care debate, two top administration officials signaled Sunday that the White House may be willing to jettison a controversial government-run insurance plan favored by liberals. In Beltway mediaspeak, “regain control” must mean doing something that right-wing Democrats and Republicans […]


The Media’s Healthcare Debate

Two disappointing reports in major newspapers on the healthcare debate. In the Los Angeles Times, Noam Levey writes (“Consensus Emerging on Universal Healthcare“) that the momentum for real change is obvious in Washington–but that it only goes so far: The idea of a federal, single-payer system patterned on those in Europe and Canada, long a dream of the political left, is now virtually off the table. One might well reach such a conclusion if you only talked to the people Levey quoted in his article: -“Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, a leading trade group whose […]