The sounds of the crashing healthcare plan have me flashing on the Black Eyed Peas hit song...
Yesterday I watched a triumphant Max Baucus (D-Mont) announce the successful negotiation of a Senate healthcare bill that would do everything for everybody and simultaneously reduce the deficit over the next ten years. He smiled, he extolled, he lauded the aspects which would gain bi-partisan support, he had me driving home in this new car today!
But, I then realized that his lips were moving and I know too well what that means. There was the now familiar canard about keeping what I've got if I'm satisfied. And, the business about all that savings from reducing costs in Medicare--which I know means I'm going to get a lot less service and pay a lot more co-payments. There was that business-ignorant line about no denials for pre-existing conditions and the populist rhetoric about stopping those profits that insurance companies make.
But, there was some new stuff as well. Like the tax on "Cadillac" plans. If an employer is offering too good a healthcare plan, we're going to tax it for you! How logical is that? If they tax a conscientious employer providing quality insurance who will pay the tax? It always trickles down to the end-user, the worker. You will get taxed or your great plan will become a crappy one.
Now, here's the crashing part:
Won't Work For Nevada!
Imagine that! The Baucus plan is so bad that even Socialist-in-chief of the Senate, the leader of his own party, Harry Reid can't abide it!
But hey, if you've got union support, you can make it work can't you?
Coal Miners Will Take Lumps
Ooops! Fellow traveler Jay Rockefeller sees through the concept and points out that the union workers are going to get screwed over their hard-won Cadillac healthcare. And Rockefeller is well aware that putting an exemption for selected unions in the bill won't be a pretty picture for the media coverage.
Yet, there is always the possibility of some renegade Republicans showing how they embrace bipartisanship. You can always count on Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to cross the aisle and show her egalitarian side.
You're On Your Own, Max!
Boom, boom, pow!