What's the Deal With Baucus's $80 Bn Surplus?
October 08, 2009
Richard Rubin of CQ has an interesting piece (subscription required) about what can be done with the $81 billion surplus CBO projects under the Baucus health care bill.
Trouble in Beantown
September 29, 2009
A month-old labor dispute in Boston has taken a curious twist. It began when on August 31, a hundred housekeepers at three Hyatt hotels in Boston were fired and replaced by workers from a Georgia company, Hospitality Staffing Solutions. The housekeepers, some of whom had worked for Hyatt for over twenty years, were making between $14 and $16 an hour plus health, dental, and 401(k) benefits. Their replacements were to make $8 an hour with no health benefits.
BREAKING: Baucus Releases Bill. No, Really!
September 16, 2009
It's out! Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus just released his proposal for health care reform. It's a "chairman's mark," which, again, means it's written in regular English rather than the gobbledygook of legislation. Gobbledygookification will take place later on, when--and if--the full Finance Committee passes it. Whether that will happen is unclear. In the last twelve hours, committee Democrats who were not part of Baucus's bipartisan Gang of Six have raised all sorts of objections.
BREAKING: No Snowe, For Now
September 15, 2009
Multiple outlets are reporting that when Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus introduces his health reform bill tomorrow, it will not have any Republican endorsements. (Update: it's out, and here's my initial reaction.) That means no support from Mike Enzi or Charles Grassley, which isn't surprising. It also means no support from Olympia Snowe, which is a little bit surprising. Snowe is the Republican most serious about reform and working with Democrats.
A Peek at What Max's Bill Really Means
September 14, 2009
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus says he will release a health care bill* very soon, maybe in the next 24 hours. And we already have a pretty good idea what it will look like, thanks to an outline Baucus has distributed to the Gang of Six--the bipartisan group with which he’s been trying to hammer out a compromise. Sources inside the Finance Committee say that the formal bill will look a lot like that proposal, with some minor modifications.
Wishful Thinking From Schumer?
September 10, 2009
Now that Obama’s Big Speech is over, the focus of the health care debate has moved swiftly back to the Senate Finance Committee, as it prepares to release its own bill next week. At a press conference on Capitol Hill today, the Senate Democratic leadership stood before a bold blue sign with their newly minted slogan: “The Season for Action Is Now.” It's a variation on a line from Obama’s speech, “Now is the season for action.” The question now is where that action should take place--and what kind of action should be.
It's All About Affordability
September 08, 2009
The plan Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus distributed to the Gang of Six is now available via various sources, including TNR.COM. And, generally speaking, it looks like the summaries that were circulating over the weekend. It's not as good as it could be, but better than it might have been, given earlier drafts. Off the bat, though, one section caught my attention--and not in a good way.
More on the Administration's Drug Deal
August 25, 2009
What kind of deal did the administration and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus make with the drug industry? And was it a good deal? I (try to) answer those questions in an article that appears in TNR's latest print edition--and is running on our (new!) home page today. As I note, albeit briefly because of the print edition's space constraints, three other articles advanced this story before I came along. One was a New York Times article, in which PhRMA chairman Billy Tauzin first spilled the beans about a key concession his group had secured.