Diary

The Baucus Plan Released; About Those New "Fees"

The Max Baucus plan is out and generating buzz. Apparently, there is neither a public option nor a public option trigger, which has radicals in a twist, but there are cooperatives.

However, my immediate take away is the new “fees” that will be imposed on insurance companies to fund the plan. The Wall Street Journal references a series of new taxes including “a tax on insurance companies when they offer particularly generous health-insurance plans”.

At least the Baucus Democrats admit that new revenues are needed to make these plans deficit neutral. It’s an admission that House Democrats have refused. It also runs contrary to the generic pap the White House offers.

But these new fees are troubling for the obvious reasons; those new costs will inevitably be absorbed by the consumer. While radicals gleefully support the new fees in accordance with their “get those evil insurance companies” attitudes, even they admit that any new costs will be passed on to the consumer. One blogger at Kos openly applauds the new fees after conceding the following:

No public option. Not even a public option with a “trigger,” which was a ridiculous idea tacked on to a position that was already a compromise. And the central tenet of the financing: a giant new “fee” that insurers are already saying they’ll simply pass on to their customers.

Thank you. Thank you very much for that concession. Now, can we get a similar one for Cap and Tax?