James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

The day in healthcare reform

September 16, 2009

– The Baucus healthcare bill is released.

– Baucus makes his case. (WSJ)

Health care is a complicated and deeply personal issue; it takes time and effort to get reform right. Legislating every piece of this puzzle would be impossible and counterproductive. What we can do is seize this opportunity to put America back on a fiscally sustainable path. The Senate Finance Committee proposal builds on what already works and fixes what threatens to break the bank for future generations.

– Rockefeller: Baucus bill contains “dangerous” tax hikes on middle-class (ABC):

He should understand that (his proposal) means that virtually every single coal miner is going to have a big, big tax put on them because the tax will be put on the company and the company will immediately pass it down and lower benefits because they are self insured, most of them, because they are larger. They will pass it down, lower benefits, and probably this will mean higher premiums for coal miners who are getting very good health care benefits for a very good reason. That is, like steelworkers and others, they are doing about the most dangerous job that can be done in America. … So that’s not really a smart idea,” Rockefeller continued. “In fact, it’s a very dangerous idea, and I’m not even sure the coal miners in West Virginia are aware that this is what is waiting if this bill passes.

– Obama speech gives healthcare a bounce, not a sustained boost in polls.

– No Snowe, Dems ready to go it alone. (The Hill)

Me: Failure is not a political option for Dems, so reconciliation it will be if need be. Don’t doubt that.

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