What editorial writers are saying about the Senate Finance Committee's health reform bill
■ The $856 billion, 10-year package would attempt to cover most Americans through individual mandates, insurance reforms and new government assistance.
Posted Sept. 28, 2009.
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The decision by Committee Chair Sen. Max Baucus (D, Mont.) to drop the public insurance plan option has not been enough to gain GOP support, and some Democrats have jumped ship, too. Editorial writers across the country seem to agree.
Baucus plan has lots of critics; it's time for a blue-ribbon panel of stakeholders
Judging from the initial response from Republican conservatives, Democratic liberals and even the White House, this bill is going nowhere fast. Irony: In trying to address myriad concerns of the left and right flanks of both parties, plus all those who go down the middle of the road, Sen. Max Baucus appears to have produced a bill pleasing no one. Waco (Texas) Tribune Herald, Sept. 18
Baucus' health bill flawed, but it gets the ball rolling
Sen. Max Baucus' long-awaited health care reform bill is far from ideal. But it appears to be the best vehicle yet for moving the contentious debate forward. ... It is encouraging to see the beginnings of a coalition forming to move it along. Too many families are paying too much for health care or lacking it altogether. Reform of America's costly, inefficient system is needed now. Kansas City Star, Sept. 17
Addition by subtraction
The Montana Democrat who chairs the Senate Finance Committee yesterday breathed new life into the growing calls to create a government-run competitor to private health insurers. How so? Baucus did it by omitting the so-called public option from his own reform proposal. His plan clearly fails to measure up on the key issue of driving down health costs, experts said. So that should strengthen the case even more for a Medicare-like health plan for the under-65 uninsured who cannot find affordable private coverage. Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 17
A half measure of health reform
America needs a strong shot of health care reform, but Sen. Max Baucus' two-aspirin-and-call-me-the-morning measure won't get the job done. Mr. Baucus, D-Mont., who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, dithered for months trying to craft a compromise with Senate Republicans. He didn't get a single Republican to sign on. The bill Mr. Baucus unveiled this week covers too few people, provides too little security for those whom it does cover and utterly fails to rein in health care spending. Insurance companies were delighted by the bill; that should worry the rest of us. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 18
Public option lite: The Baucus plan would make insurance even more expensive
The headline is that Mr. Baucus has dropped the unpopular "public option," but this is a political offering without much policy difference. His plan remains a public option by other means, imposing vast new national insurance regulation, huge new subsidies to pay for the higher insurance costs this regulation will require and all financed by new taxes and penalties on businesses, individuals and health care providers. Other than that, Hippocrates, the plan does no harm. Wall Street Journal, Sept. 17