Monday, September 21, 2009

Why BARF Stinks

Scheduled for markup on Tuesday, the Baucus Anti Reforming Fixes act, BARF for short, needs a major overhaul, including the inclusion of a public option.  Over 550 amendments are already scheduled for discussion.  But why does BARF stink so bad?  The answer is completely clear.

Senate-corruption The bipartisan "gang of six" senators who helped craft the health care reform bill going before a key Senate committee Tuesday represent less than 3 percent of the U.S. population - but they hold a lot of power at a crucial policy-shaping moment in Congress.

That's why, analysts say, health care industry lobbyists have showered them with more campaign cash on average than other senators this year, in an attempt to influence the outcome.

Three Republican and three Democratic senators in the group, all of them members of the Senate Finance Committee, received an average of $74,600 from health industry lobbyists, according to The Chronicle's analysis of records through June.

That is about 25 percent more than the average of $59,632 in such donations that the gang's other Senate colleagues raked in from lobbyists for the pharmaceutical, hospital, insurance and nursing home industries, according to the analysis, which was based on records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit watchdog group.

"Money buys access," said Henry Brady, a professor of public policy and dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley….

...Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee who is seen as key to influencing other conservatives, received the most this year - $223,600. Committee chair Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., was second with $141,000… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <San Francisco Chronicle>

Is it any wonder that Snake-in-the Grassley and Bought Baucus are willing to sabotage authentic reform?  They are the best Senators money can buy.  Other than the public option, what changes do you think are needed to turn BARF into something palatable?


Annette said...

My suggestion would be throw it out and go with the Kennedy HELP bill.. but that's just me... It is only 600 billion.. Take it and if there are some redeeming qualities from the BARF (love use them in the HELP bill.. I think that would be the way to go.

Instead of the other way around... Just scratch the BARF and forget the whole thing.

Hill said...

"Other than the public option, what changes do you think are needed to turn BARF into something palatable?"

Hmmmmm, let's see now...

Oh, I know!

Draw and quarter the Gang of 6?

That's the ticket!


Money and power = corruptness.


TomCat said...

So, Annette, if I understand you, you're saying, in effect, to barf on BARF. :-)

WB Hill. LOL! As appealing as your tongue-in-cheek idea sounds, isn't drawing and quartering a tactic better suited to the methods of the right?

Sue said...

drawing and quartering is more suited for the right, BUT, I agree!! Fuck the blue dogs, fuck the gang of 6, lets get this done Mr President!! I like the Kennedy bill too!

TomCat said...

Sue, you're idea has merit as well, but I don't think I remember how. And if I do, I have better taste. ;-)

Seriously, the Kennedy bill should be the basis of the way forward.

an average patriot said...

That's funny I was wondering why BARF stunk? That gang of 6 turned into a gang of one because Baucus is owned by the insurance companies. No one else would sign it. I am so sick of this farce they call a Government!

Complaint Department Manager said...

Ah, so it's Grassley that wants to pull the plug on grandma, that bastard!

This is like my tipping a stripper on a daily basis then asking her if I should try the new strip joint on the other side of town...not that I have ever been in one of those places. I'm just sayin'...

ivan said...

Not quit3 filubuster.
More like a Johnny F*ckerfaster.

Jack Jodell said...

BARF is a great word for it, YomCat! Insurance lobbyists have done their damnedest to buy off Congress efficiently, and that sucks. Now they're going to attempt to amend all reform bills to death, and that is infuriating.

These suddenly fiscally-responsible Republicans sure are wasting taxpayer money with all these delays and amendments, aren't they? What a bunch of bought-out phonies!

Personally, I think health care start to finish ought to be set up like a utility, where MODEST profit can be made; all concerned parties can have input on prices; and the delivery of actual care is heavily regulated and supervised and is open to periodic arbitration if necessary. Nobody pisses or moans much about their electrical or water systems, so why not set up health care the same way? ENOUGH of this profiteering nonsense!

the walking man said...

the way i see it the congress is bought, the SCOTUS is paid for it means only the White House stands in the way of what is going to be tantamount to a gang rape of the working and poor classes.

My prediction? Drug and health care provider profits will surge as soon as a bill is enacted.

NOT a god damn one of them listens to the majority of their constituents anymore because we have been intentionally marginalized by the lobbying industry (K Street).

Brother Tim said...

I'll bet Baucus is pissed because Grassley got more cash than he did.

Scoundrels, one and all.

TomCat said...

Jim, it appears that Baucus wanted to sell out. Grassley wanted only to delay and never had the slightest intention of backing the bill. I'm sick of it too.

Sure, CDM. ;-) Grassley has been supporting a system that pulls the plug whenever it can get away with it, and not just on Grandma.

LOL, Ivan!

Thanks, Jack. The Japanese system is much like you describe. Everything is private. They have no public option. But there, the government dictates the premiums insurance companies may charge, the doctor, what insurance companies pay for each procedure, and what doctors, hospitals, labs, etc., charge for each procedure. It works. A patient can usually see a specialist on the same day without an appointment.

Mark, while I agree that Congress is in their pocket, I see no evidence of that for SCOTUS. Four of them are just rabid right ideologues. One is conservative. Three are moderate and one is liberal. The conservative is the swing vote. On marginalizing by K Street, I agree.

I don't think so, Brother. It's more that Moose has bigger gonads than Baucus.