While BO hogged the cameras, the Senate Finance Committee debated the health care bill proposed by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). Democrats and the White House are eagerly displaying their definition of “transparency” by rushing through proposed amendments so that the public doesn’t have a chance to see up close how completely this shoddy and unconstitutional legislation will ruin health care and bankrupt the country. Republicans are attempting to shed light on the subject by begging as much time as the “bipartisan” Democrats will afford them, but many of their proposals are falling short on party-line votes.
The major issue at this point is just how big a blow seniors will be dealt by the new plan. Part of the cost savings for Baucus’s $800 billion plan derive from making real cuts in Medicare funding, and Democrat support is already starting to drift away at the prospect of seniors being asked to sacrifice a portion of their benefits. The traditional Democrat supporters in Big Labor are also concerned about the 35 percent tax to be imposed on so-called “Cadillac plans,” health insurance packages valued at more than $8,000 for individuals or $21,000 for families. This tax is supposed to help fund the rest of the program, but the costs will hit hard for middle-class union families with generous insurance packages, though not necessarily generous salaries.