Simply put, a bipartisan health care bill will be useless. Republicans will not vote for a public option, which is the key to bringing down costs and keeping the private insurers honest. The Senate Finance Committee is one of two committees drafting health care legislation. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) is the head of the Finance Committee and he’s bound and determined to present a bipartisan bill. Here’s the rub:
Lobbying disclosure filings for the first quarter of 2009 reveal that five of Baucus’ former staffers currently work for a total of twenty-seven different organizations that are either in the health care or insurance sector or have a noted interest in the outcome. The organizations represented include some of the top lobbying organizations in the health sector: Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Researchers of America (PhRMA), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Amgen, and GE Health Care.
The overall health and insurance sectors haven’t just been kind to Baucus’ staffers, but they’ve also aided his campaigns handsomely over the years, especially in his barely contested 2008 reelection campaign. In 2008, Baucus received $1,148,775 from the health sector and $285,850 from the insurance sector. For his career he has received $2,797,381 from the health sector and $1,170,313 from the insurance sector.
That’s a grand career total of $3,967,694! That kind of bread, along with knowing the people giving it to you, sure does make it easier to sell out millions of nameless, faceless Americans. Alright Mr. Stranahan, let him have it!
We don’t need a bipartisan bill! We need reform! The only way we get that is through a public option! The alternative is weak half measures that don’t offer choice or better care while the insurance companies get richer.
Sell out Dems like Baucus and Bayh make me sick (and I’m confident I’m not covered by my provider).