Tax Reform Appears Dead

By: Thursday December 19, 2013 6:26 am

The chances of Congress working on tax reform next year have gone from very unlikely to effectively zero with the decision by President Obama to name Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) ambassador to China. Baucus is chair of the extremely powerful Senate Finance Committee. Despite the long odds, Baucus has been working towards creating a comprehensive [...]

Baucus and Hatch Plan to Destroy Democratic Accountability for Tax Reform

By: Thursday July 25, 2013 8:47 am

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are planning to take secretive backroom deal making to a new extreme to get a big tax reform package. From The Hill: The Senate’s top tax writers have promised their colleagues 50 years worth of secrecy in exchange for suggestions on what deductions and [...]

Baucus Worries Health Care Implementation Could Be a Huge Train Wreck

By: Thursday April 18, 2013 7:58 am

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who is arguably the prime author of the Affordable Care Act, is “very concerned” that implementation of it is not going well. During a Senate Finance Committee hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Baucus repeatedly expressed concerns that the administration has completely failed to do proper outreach and [...]

None of Sen. Reid’s Super Committee Picks Will Face the Voters in 2012

By: Wednesday August 10, 2011 7:17 am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the first congressional leader to pick his three members for Catfood Commission II. From Politico: In the first of what will be a closely watched selection process for a powerful new deficit panel, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he will appoint Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Max Baucus [...]

The Best of All Possible Worlds: Beltway Journos Use Sham Logic to Obscure Political Pain of Health Reform

By: Saturday October 30, 2010 8:00 am

In the last few days, several bloggers – among them Jon Cohn and Ezra Klein — have written faulty defenses of the health care bill. They used theoretical, counterfactual alternatives in defense of the health care legislation they’ve supported, calling to mind Voltaire’s classic, Candide. In it, Voltaire heavily mocks the extreme optimism of Pangloss, [...]

High-Risk-Pool Time Bomb Looms While Baucus Wins Medicare for His Chosen Few

By: Tuesday June 29, 2010 3:25 pm

The media are finally waking up to the fact that the temporary high-risk pools created by the new health-care law were completely unfunded. Only $5 billion was set aside for the program, which is probably less than a third of what would be required to keep the program funded until 2014. This should not be [...]

Senate Health Care Bill Does Not Have “Independent Third Party Review” That Would Protect Breast Cancer Patients

By: Thursday April 22, 2010 10:35 am

Reuters reports that WellPoint is under federal investigation for singling out breast cancer patients and dropping their coverage “based on either erroneous or flimsy information.”  They also report that language in the House bill would have protected these women, but it was removed in the Senate version of the bill because “lobbyists for WellPoint and [...]

WellPoint Targets Breast Cancer Patients for Recision

By: Thursday April 22, 2010 9:00 am

Federal investigators have told Reuters that WellPoint, the country’s largest insurance company, is using an algorithm to target women with breast cancer for the express purpose of dropping their coverage. Murray Waas writes that WellPoint “specifically targeted women with breast cancer for aggressive investigation with the intent to cancel their policies”: None of the women [...]

Baucus Thanks Wellpoint VP Liz Fowler for Writing Health Care Bill

By: Monday March 29, 2010 9:08 am

Not a surprise really that upon passage of the health care bill, Max Baucus would openly thank Liz Fowler, the former Wellpoint VP, for writing it: Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, there are a flood of emotions going through all of us today as we pass this reconciliation bill which improves upon the bill the President [...]

Obama Points to the Lack of Insurance Competition, a Problem His Plan No Longer Solves

By: Monday March 8, 2010 7:55 am

The Obama administration, in its push to get the House to vote for the Senate’s health care reform bill unchanged, is pointing to the serious issue of lack of competition in the health insurance market as a powerful reason for reform. Obama’s health care proposal, however, no longer does much to actually solve the problem. [...]