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A group of centrist Democrats wrote a letter to Baucus and Reid (heading up the Senate Finance Committee’s Healh Care Reform Plan), requesting additional time and transparency for all parties to have more time to evaluate and weigh in on their proposed bill. Here’s an excerpt of their letter:

“Every step of the process needs to be transparent, and information
regarding the bill needs to be readily available to our constituents
before the Senate starts to vote on legislation that will affect the
lives of every American. The legislative text and complete budget scores
from the Congressional Budget Office (C.B.O.) of the health care
legislation considered on the Senate floor should be made available on a
Web site the public can access for at least 72 hours prior to the first
vote to proceed to the legislation.”

I applaud these efforts to slow down the process, so we can all have a chance to read the fine print and understand and respond to our representatives.

I believe this is so important that yesterday I highlighted Obama’s Health Care Plan and now today below, is a review of the “Baucus Plan” which is being proposed by the Senate Finance Committee. This plan will cost roughly 829 billion dollars and is intended to be rolled out over the next 10 years.

What the “Baucus Plan” Will Do:

  • Make it easier for families and small businesses to buy health care
    coverage.
  • Create health care tax credits to help low and middle
    income families buy insurance
  • Prevent insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions
  • Provide tax credits for small businesses offset cost of insuring their employees
  • Allow individuals to maintain existing coverage if they desire.
  • Prevent discrimination due to pre-existing conditions or health status
  • Eliminate yearly and lifetime limits on the coverages provided
  • Offer a choice of either non-profit, consumer owned or select from CO-OP plans
  • Standardize medicaid coverage for the poor.
  • Create incentives for Medicare to provide quality care.
  • Increase the number of primary care doctors
  • Fight fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare
  • Increase health care research 
  • Eliminate out-of-pocket costs for screening and preventative care in
    Medicare
  • Provide free tobacco cessation services for pregnant women on Medicaid

What the Baucus Plan Will Not Do:

  • Will not increase the Federal Deficit
  • Will not allow undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance plans.

  • Will not allow federal tax dollars to pay for abortions unless due to rape, incest, or endangerment to mother.

  • Will not require employers to offer health insurance to employees
     
  • Will not provide a Public Option

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I don’t know about you, but I’d still like to know where the 829 billion dollars will come from without raising the deficit? Historically, we haven’t always gotten the math, right so I’m hoping someone will shed light on where the money is actually coming from. 
 
For a side-by-side comparison of the main health care proposals visit the Kaiser Foundation, which has provided a great analysis of the various proposals.  

Raise Your Voice for Health Care Reform by contacting your elected officials. A vote will probably occur within the next week and will undoubtedly affect us all.

Peace and Blessings!

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