We research, you save.
September 18th, 2009

Baucus’ Health Care Bill Is Costly



Our friend Mitch at Top Finance Blog brought this heated topic to our attention: Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana proposed a version of the health care reform bill to great degrees of disappointment and disagreement by his fellow constituents. Portions of his draft that will raise costs for the middle class and charge nonparticipating Americans drew strong “ire,” as the Associated Press put it, from both fellow Democrats and Republicans.

Here’s some of what Mitch had to say:

There was one major surprise that came from the health care bill being sponsored by Senator Max Baucus of Montana, and it’s the one thing that could scuttle the entire bill. It wasn’t the price tag of $856 billion either.

It was the provision that stated if people didn’t buy into it, they would be fined. Individuals would be fined $950, families would be fined $3,000.

What the heck? I know anyone who read this had to feel blindsided. This isn’t what anyone was expecting to come out of a health care plan that was intended to take care of people who couldn’t afford it. Oh yeah, if you can prove you can’t afford it, you won’t have to pay the fine, but in a backdoor way, you just hit the middle class, who were the major group that didn’t have any health care, the folks the bill was really for in the first place. In essence, they’d be paying for health care, whether it’s $3,000 or some other figure, which I’ve been unable to find, whether they wanted it or not.

Since health-care reform began its full-steam-ahead campaign, one of the resounding claims made by its supporters was that the reform would lower health-care costs for taxpayers. Not so writes Erica Werner (for this version at least):

Giving momentum to President Obama’s top domestic priority, it would require almost everyone to buy insurance; make insurance companies cover people with preexisting medical conditions; and rein in spiraling health-care costs.

To pay for the 10-year, $856 billion bill, Baucus wants to tax high-value insurance plans – those worth $21,000 for a family and $8,000 for an individual.

But other Democratic senators fear the tax will be passed on to consumers and reach deep into the middle class, and labor unions are upset.

Barely 24 hours out of the gate and Baucus’ version has been lambasted by both sides of the aisle. Perhaps this mutual disagreement by both Democrats and Republicans will generate more debate by the two sides in order to determine what benefits, if any, this bill will bring to the American people.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Mixx
  • BlinkList
  • Live
  • Reddit

2 Responses to “Baucus’ Health Care Bill Is Costly”

  1. Lucia Says: September 19th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    If I’m going to be required to buy health insurance (I pay cash for my medical costs now and get a discount from the doctor), then I’m going to have to cash in my life insurance to pay for it. It’s far cheaper to pay cash for medical care than to pay out premiums for health insurance. I’ve had 2 surgeries as well, and paid for them either with monthly payments or a consumer loan. Since I’m older and need to prepare for higher medical expenses, I’ve been considering a health savings account. However, I still have the freedom to be responsible for my own health care and not have an insurance company tell me what I can or cannot do.

    It seems cheaper to pay the fine than to be forced into paying premiums I can’t afford. I’d retain my freedom to be responsible for my own health issues and not waste my money on premiums.

  2. Tim Manni Says: September 21st, 2009 at 4:52 pm


    That’s very interesting, I can’t say I have heard of anyone else, on this blog at least, that does that. I wouldn’t be too concerned about Baucus’ version of the bill, since it seemed to generate a great deal of negativity from both sides of the isle. I can’t however speak to upcoming versions. It will be interesting (and hopefully not scary) to monitor this pending legislation. I can’t say I’ve seen this type of resistance from consumers in a while.

    What’s the one thing that bothers you most about the health care reform?

    So you prefer to pay out of pocket as needed than to pay monthly premiums? Very interesting. You have found this to be cost effective?

    Sorry it took me so long to respond,


Leave a Comment

Receive Updates via Email

Delivered by FeedBurner

About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

Our bloggers:

Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

Connect With Us

  • rss feed icon
  • facebook icon
  • twitter icon

Compare Lowest Mortgage Rates