Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BARF Delayed – Olbermann Hosts Oregon Doctors

It looks like we won’t get a vote on BARF (Baucus Anti Real Fix bill) this week.

BaucusBill The Senate Finance Committee was supposed to convene for a vote on its controversial health care bill tomorrow [now today]. Now, that's looking doubtful.

Early in the amendment process, the panel agreed not to hold a vote until a preliminary analysis on the legislation's cost-saving potential was available, and it appears as if the CBO will not complete its work until later in the week. That would touch off yet another delay--one that's likely to frustrate Democrats and liberal activists, who've grown impatient over the glacial pace of reform efforts.

Assuming the panel successfully approves the bill by week's end, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will begin negotiations with Democratic health care leaders to marry it with a more liberal package that was advanced months ago by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee.

Most insiders expect the bill to pass on a heavily partisan basis. Depending on how Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) chooses to vote, Finance chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) will be able to lose one or two Democrats, but no more. Several Democrats, but most notably Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)--frustrated by the right-leaning nature of the bill, and upset about being shut out of the months-long negotiations process--have suggested they may not be prepared to support the legislation as is…

Inserted from <TPM>

Now what this means is that the GOP wants more time for the Insurance lobby to prepare their fight against reform, not that BARF represents any real reform at all.  Yesterday I was watching C-Span and saw Sen. Kyl speaking in opposition to BARF.  Most of it was GOP smoke and mirrors to be dismissed without further mention.  However, on a couple of points, if he was telling the truth, I actually agreed with him.  He said that BARF taxes insurance companies on policies valued at over $8,000 per family, and that insurance companies will pass the costs on to the insured.  He’s right.  Many union workers have negotiated for top drawer health care in lieu of pay raises.  Firefighters and police need more costly policies due to the danger implicit in their jobs.  I consider it wrong to penalize these people.  Kyl also said that BARF increases the level above which medical expenses are deductible from federal income tax from 7% to 10%.  I don’t think it right to penalize people who need catastrophic or chronic care.  In an attempt to be revenue neutral, what BARF does is to penalize common people like us to finance corporate welfare for big insurance.

Let me tell you, when a piece of legislation is so bad that honesty compels me to agree with the likes of John Kyl about anything at all, it really STINKS!

On 9/22, I posted this article about Oregon doctors campaigning for health care reform.  I was pleased to see Dr. Paul Hochfeld interviewed by Keith Olbermann on Countdown last night.  Here’s the clip.


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They made a really good point that we won’t have complete reform until we get single-payer.


the walking man said...

I would rather see the whole mess go down in flames with no reform than BARF or anything similar to it passed.

The paid for will never revisit this issue once they pass something so if they pass a bad law we will be stuck with it.

This is the one issue that will cause the president to absolutely lose my support if he does not veto a bad plan or signs one without a government competition option.

the walking man said...

i tried to find a clip but beck yesterday swore twice that if people sent him pictures and explanations of the circumstances of Americans dieing in the streets from lack of heal care he would broadcast them.

Sounds like a reasonable enough challenge to me.

Vigilante said...

I received this Keith Olbermann appeal in my overnight email.

Mary Ellen said...

The worst part about watching this health care plan go forward is that we have no control over what they do or vote on. They don't care what their constituents want, they only care about putting through any piece of shit and call it a "success". Of course, they made sure that nothing will happen until after the start of the next Presidential term....that way they can tout some sort of reform that isn't really reform as their campaign speech. Then once elected...BLAM! We pay the price and the insurance companies and big pharma rake in the dough...again.

Anijo said...

I don't think that real reform is possible in this country. I did a post about his on my blog. Did you read that TomCat?

P.S. I did a post about this on my blog. Did you read it?

Anijo said...

Oops.. The P.S. part was supposed to be that I put a widget on my sidebar which will enable you to challenge me to a game of chess if you wish. You'd have to sign up, but it doesn't cost anything.

TomCat said...

Mark, I agree. I see people like that in my neighborhood, but my cell phone does not do video. I bet you a buck that Beck will find a reason to ignore whatever he is sent.

Vig, I signed the appeal and joined the organization.

Nunly, I think there are some that really do care, but standing against reform are all the Repuglicans and a handful of corrupt Democrats.

Anjo, I have not been to your blog today, but I'll try to get there today.

Sue said...

I'm still the total optimist Tom. I'm praying Obama sticks to his promise of not signing a bill unless it has REAL reform! I look forward to Olbermanns rant, I think its tomorrow night?

TomCat said...

It is, Sue. I'll post a notice in the morning.

Randal Graves said...

I cannot help but laugh each time I see the acronym BARF.

ivan said...

I hope the snag isn't just with Republicans and localized at only this point at the Finance Committee.

TomCat said...

Thanks Randal. I have to admit, it's one of my better ones.

Ivan, I don't understand what you mean.