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Big News: Max Baucus’s Health Care Bill Is Out

Max Baucus is a Democratic senator from Montana. He's also the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and, because a health care reform bill...


Max Baucus is a Democratic senator from Montana. He's also the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and, because a health care reform bill has to pass through that committee, he's the guy who's currently charged with creating a bill and shepherding it through the Senate. Some say he's been holding the process hostage, and there are concerns because he's so tight with the insurance companies.He just released his first draft of a bill today. You can download the whole thing here (pdf). It's 220 pages long, and it's hardly Harry Potter, but it's not too technical to understand either if you want to give it a shot.Ezra Klein is doing a fantastic job of going through the Baucus draft bill to help us all understand what it means. Some of his early findings: The Baucus bill allows insurance companies to crank premiums way up for old people. But, while there's no public option, the bill's version of Health Insurance Exchanges is surprisingly good. He also covers the fiscal implications: "According to the CBO, the bill covers 94 percent of legal residents and actually reduces the deficit. More to the point, it keeps reducing the deficit as time goes on."For some good background on how Baucus has been dealing with this responsibility, check the Columbia Journalism Review's Baucus Watch series.
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