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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Baucus Nomination Part II

Juliet Eilperin and Sean Sullivan in today's Washington Post explains all the political reasons that Baucus got that job -- 1) to help out  Democratic politicians in Montana, 2) because he has experience on China trade issues, and 3) because it "remov[es] a credible critic of the Affordable Care Act from the scene."

I guess he's "credible" because he drafted it, although the writers seem to be unaware of that fact.  Of course, he's not actually criticizing the Act itself, just the implementation.  From the article:

"Baucus had expressed frustration with how the Administration was implementing its landmark health care law for months, suggesting in February it could be “a huge train wreck” if the government did not have enough money to spend on outreach to consumers. A month after the launch of the senator compared the federal health care marketplace to Humpty Dumpty, questioning whether the White House could repair the complicated online enrollment system."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Congratulations Max Baucus -- Well Played

I guess I missed this when it came out.  I was just reminded of Max Baucus when I heard about his appointment as Ambassador to China today.  I knew there was something about him and Pharma that bothered me.  The below link -- to a December 2012 piece by Glenn Greenwald -- pretty much tells the story.  Baucus's aide -- insurance industry tool Liz Fowler -- essentially drafted the no-public-option Obama care, with obvious benefits to insurance companies, as well as for Pharma.  And sure enough, both Fowler and Baucus cashed out and took presumably lucrative jobs in those industries.

Not only did Obama basically accept the industry-drafted giveaway that became Obamacare, but he watched as its architects went back to being lobbyists for the industries that they served oh-so-well while supposedly representing the people.  And, as if to endorse that kind of behavior, he rewards one of them with an ambassadorship.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Insurance Companies Cutting Back on Prescription Drugs

Well, of course.  That's what makes the whole Obamacare-Compromise so awful.  We need the private corporations to basically run it, because they need to stay alive, and because obviously the government is not competent to run it.  But the result is that the whole healthcare system is turned over to for-profit enterprises -- enterprises that seek ALWAYS to increase profits while reducing expenses, by whatever means are legal.  If they can find a way to minimize the losses that they would otherwise incur when accepting an otherwise uninsured person with an expensive pre-existing condition, they will do that.  Why wouldn't they?  They are not charitable organizations.  The extent of their charity is whatever the initial bargain was.  And that, apparently, was guaranteed billions of dollars of patient and taxpayer money in exchange for a promise that they would insure some people with preexisting conditions.