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What’s not to like?

Cripes! What happened? I took a few days off to visit some relatives down in Mormondom and I came back to winter! What is this, Montana?

I see by an article in the Missoulian this morning that the Montana health insurance cabal is positioning itself for passage of the Baucus Boondoggle. They certainly have nothing to complain about. “After all, it does mandate that everyone in America eventually buy their product, or pay monetary penalties.” And not only that, if you can’t afford the mandated coverage, the rest of us taxpayers will cheerfully chip in and pay for your insurance with subsidies.

That of course doesn’t mean that insurers won’t still work the bill even more to their advantage. With the new bill “Premiums will go up and people are going to be angry and upset...” says David Kibbe, CEO of New West Health Services. Of course it’s not their fault that health insurance will cost more. It’s the damn government. On the individual mandate, Frank Cote, spokesman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana states,”The fear of any insurer is if the mandate is not strong enough, then the new mix of insured will be mostly unhealthy people – and that will increase the cost of insurance.” And of course, the insurance lobbyists have seen to it that the mandate is about as weak as they can make it. Insurance companies won’t be able to deny or cancel health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. That’s a good thing for us, but of course it “will increase the cost of insurance for everyone.”  Companies can only charge older consumers four times as much as everyone else? Well, that’s certainly going to “drive up the price more for younger customers.” A new tax on “Cadillac Health Plans”? You know the insurance companies won’t stand for that “…thus further increasing the cost of insurance policies.” Jeepers! It sounds to me like, if we didn’t have this “government-run health care” between us and our friendly insurance companies, premium prices would drop like a rock.

Yesterday, Jim Hightower jumped all over our own Max Baucus and his health care bill;

Take Max Baucus. Please! He’s the lightweight Montana Democrat to whom President Obama entrusted the heavy job of shepherding health care reform through the upper chamber. It was like asking Tweety Bird to lift a bowling ball.

Ouch! Now that’s harsh, but I have to say that I can only agree. After having a tailored bill written by the former vice president of public policy for Wellpoint, the country’s largest health insurance provider, who replaced a staffer who went to work for Wellpoint as a lobbyist… Max gets really irked if anyone insuates that he is in any way influenced by the more than $3 million he was paid contributed to his campaign coffers by the health industry. That didn’t stop Hightower from jumping all over him,

To explain such spectacular servitude to the special interests by a Democrat who should be expected to stand for the interests of ordinary folks, the milquetoast chairman simply stated that his goal was to produce a bill that could win the industry’s support and get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

That’s his goal? If the meek ever inherit the earth, Baucus will be a land baron!”

It was not so long ago that Montana sent people like Mike Mansfield and Lee Metcalf to the U.S. Senate — real Democrats of stature who didn’t suck up to lobbyists and run scared of Republicans. One has to ask: Is Baucus really from Montana?

Sorry Max. Sorry that it took somebody from Texas to put our feelings into words.

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