The Senate Finance Committee is voting on the bill proposed by Senator Max Barcus today. The Washington Post is of the opinion that it will pass and move to the House and Senate floors. There are still a few problems, like how it’s going to be paid for but apparently things are moving slowly ahead. See what you think of this quote from the Post:
One proposal attracting considerable attention originated with Sen. Thomas R. Carper (Del.) and would allow states to decide whether to create their own insurance plans or join forces to provide coverage in collaboration with neighboring states. Other Democrats want to take the state-based approach a step further, creating a national public plan that states could join. Carper, a moderate Democrat, said he is not sure he is prepared to go that far. “I’m just chewing on that one,” he said.
Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.), a moderate Democrat, was bullish on Carper’s approach. “I think something like that is likely, and would probably pass muster with moderates,” he said. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who opposes a public option, said he likes Carper’s idea. “I think the states, as laboratories of democracy, probably can find ways to deal with this, and if they do make a mistake it’s a smaller mistake to correct than at the federal level,” Nelson said.
So let me ask the question – is Michigan prepared to take on either creating our own insurance plan or joining with other states in some kind of insurance coalition? I’m sure if you ask Speaker of the House Andy Dillon, he’d be more than happy to give an emphatic “yes.” However, I have to wonder. I’ve been avidly watching the shenanigans going on at the State Capitol with the budget and I have to say, my confidence in our legislators’ ability to make decisions is a little shaky.
Since lately the work of our House and Senate has involved making whopping cuts out of our budget and arguing with the Governor, I’m beyond skeptical that we can create a plan, run it fairly and make it financially solvent. It makes me quite nervous that this idea is being bandied around.
The Post comments that “few, if any” Republicans will support the plan and the House and Senate are divided on how to pay for the program. Does anyone else think that the fact that we don’t seem to know how we’re going to pay for “health care for all” and yet the Senate Finance Committee is voting today on the plan is problematic? And the fallback plan might be that the states can make this work?
It all just makes me a little nervous . . .