It looks like the Baucus plan is already dead. A few Democrats have already attacked it, and the few Republicans that might have gone for it are out.
So [Olympia] Snowe’s left the building on health care reform, barring miracle. That means that the Democrats pass this on a straight party-line vote, if they pass it at all, making the parallels to Social Security reform ever more compelling. As I thought might happen, the fact that Baucus wants to pay for his bill by taxing high cost health plans has alienated Snowe, since she comes from a state with some of the highest premiums in the country. Baucus has added a provision to scale the tax to local cost–but of course, when you do that, you don’t raise so much money with it.
So if Dems are going to pass healthcare reform then they’re going to need to do it alone. And if they’re going to do it alone, then you might as well go for the full-on, robust public option plan that the base supports.
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