Back on the range, some Montana residents are preparing to show their displeasure with how Sen. Max Baucus is handling major health-reform legislation in Washington, D.C. This weekend, Baucus is holding his 10thannual ‘Camp Baucus’ fundraiser, reports Mike Dennison in the Missoulian, where attendees golf, fly-fish, ride horses and hike, all for a donation of $2,500. In past years, plenty of folks from the health care and insurance industries have been on hand to raise big money for Baucus’ Glacier PAC. But this year, guests will be greeted by protesters lining the Big Sky highway with signs and banners suggesting that Baucus should expand Medicare to cover all citizens. A group called Montanans for Single Payer is organizing the Protest.
Dennison also reports today that the bill being brokered by Baucus in his Senate Finance Committee has crucial differences from that favored by President Obama and other key Democrats. He writes:
“It will not have a government-run health insurance plan to compete with private insurers. This so-called “public option,” supported by the president, unions, consumer groups and many Democrats, is strongly opposed by insurers, other health care industries and Republicans.
“Instead, the Senate Finance bill is expected to propose regional nonprofit health insurance “cooperatives,” the details of which have yet to be revealed.
“It will not require most businesses to provide health insurance for their workers. Instead, it will have “incentives,” such as requiring businesses to help pay for the coverage of workers who get on government programs or government subsidies to buy health insurance.
“It won’t tax the wealthiest taxpayers, as does the House bill, to help pay for the cost of expanded health coverage.”