OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

The Baucus Healthcare Bill

September 8, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Ezra Klein has dug up and posted a link to the healthcare reform outline (pdf) that Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT] is shopping around today to the other members of the “Gang of Six.” He’s also posted a little more analysis of the outline here.

Basically, the bill has a co-op, no public option, an individual mandate and less subsidies for individuals. This is interesting:

The Baucus plan de-emphasizes the employer mandate in favor of the individual mandate. Importantly, this mandate comes with an affordability exemption: If the lowest cost premium available exceeds 10 percent of a person’s income, they’re exempt from the mandate. Beyond that, the fee for people who are not eligible for subsidies is $950 per year, up to $3,800 for a family.

I still see this leaving a lot of people out. A person who makes $30,000 annually, for example, would be faced with a decision to pay $2,500 or so a year to buy an insurance plan, or pay the $950 fee to the government. If they are not choosing to get their own insurance now, it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t choose the fee once the bill is passed. That is, of course, unless the bill can bring healthcare costs down closer to the amount of the fee. But without a public option, there is not much chance of that happening. In fact, with a new individual mandate, demand for insurance will go up and prices will likely go up along with the demand.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.


  • arkyokie 09/09/2009 6:58am

    You can’t deny the facts:

  • Anonymous 09/16/2009 2:54pm

    This is madness! I was laid off from work last Sept. Since COBRA is so expensive, I now have no health insurance. How can anyone in todays economy pay $950 fine living on unemployment let alone $2500 on a salary of $30k per year? I am so afraid I will get sick and have no health insurance and if that happens, I will probably loose everything I have worked for. My home, my car, my credit standing not to mention MY LIFE.

  • Anonymous 09/20/2009 1:52pm

    THe new Baucus healthcare bill sounds like a benefit for the insurance companues with the taxpayers paying the bill once again! With this plan individuals will be forced to get insurance and the companies that insure them will still be able to operate basicly the same as always. Oh there will be caps on the delta of what they can charge (7.5 to 1), and they won’t be able to exclude preexsisting conditions but they will still be able to grow thier profit! Oh they (insurance companies) hope and they pray that the dumb americans will eat this up as a phasad for health care reform. When will the American public wake up and see that some form of a goverment backed option(call it public option, call it whatever you want) that sets and controls costs will we see true healthcare reform. I don’t understand why Americans can’tunderstand that a public option would be cheaper than insurance from a industry that makes 12.5 billion profit/yr. Wake up people! Insist on a public option!

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.