Why Did Max Baucus Cross the Road?

As many of my astute readers know, the other day the Senate Finance Committee killed two different versions of healthcare bills with a public option. This may seem odd, since the Democrats have a solid majority in the Committee. However, five Democrats joined all of the Republicans to vote down the first of the two bills, and three voted against the second. The dissenting Democrats instead favored a bill which, quoting Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana), “gives lots of money to insurance companies while still denying you coverage when you get sick.”

Max Baucus -- Yours, if the Price is Right!

Max Baucus - Yours, if the Price is Right!

Now this may seem like a total betrayal of the principles of the Democratic Party, not to mention a betrayal of their constituents and of the American people in general, but there were cogent reasons why these statesmen voted the way they did: They are corrupt.

These fives senators have received a total of $10,000,000 in campaign contributions from insurance companies, health professionals, pharmaceutical companies and HMOs. (See below for the breakdown.) That’s right. Ten. Million. Smackers.

While that may seem like a lot of dough to unschooled “Beltway Outsiders,” think about it. If Congress passes a bill which mandates that every American have health coverage as seems likely, that will increase health insurance companies’ customer base by something like 40 million Americans. And if Congress fails to provide a public option as seems increasingly likely, then these insurance companies can continue to charge whatever they feel like without government competition.

In 2010, average insurance premiums are estimated to be $9,000 per year. $9,000 multiplied by 40 million equals $360,000,000,000. I don’t even know what that amounts to − $360 billion? $360 trillion? what? But I do know that compared to this grotesque number, $10 million dollars is peanuts.

Good investment, Insurance Dudes.

Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder (and Syphilitic )

Happily, despite shafting us good and hard public option-wise, the Senate Finance Committee was able to accomplish something: it approved an amendment by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) which would earmark $50 million a year to fund abstinence-only education, despite the fact that it doesn’t work even a little and never has.

Wait. This committee is Democratically-controlled, right? Jesus, was it Opposite Day or what?

Tom Delay Watch

In yet more happy news, ex-House Republican Whip Tom Delay was not voted off of Dancing with the Stars. He continues to “shake his wild thang” in front of a horrified public despite low marks from the judges, a “pre-stress fracture” of his foot and almost dropping Cheryl Burke on her noggin during the performance. So I guess this week has been like a total triumph of evil over good. Depressing. 

Humorous Conclusion

I’d like to end this with a funny joke, but damned if I can think of any. Oh, wait, I’ve got one. Why did Max Baucus cross the road? To get a big fat bribe from the chicken lobby! Ha ha!


Unfunny Background Bribery Info: How Much Did the Democratic Members of the Finance Committe Earn for Selling Us Out?

Thanks to OpenSecrets.org for the numbers. (Feel free to check out their site to see how much money your congressmen and women are taking from Big Health Insurance.)

Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana: During his career, Baucus has received $1.2 million from insurance companies, $1 million from health professionals, $750,000 from pharmaceutical firms, $500,000 from hospitals/nursing homes, and $450,000 from health service HMOs. That’s $3.9 million dollars.

Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota: Conrad has received $840,000 from the insurance industry, $625,000 from health professionals, $275,000 from hospitals/nursing homes, $250,000 from pharmaceuticals, and $200,000 from health services HMOs. That’s $2.2 million.

Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas: During her career Blanche has received $760,000 from health professionals, $500,000 from insurance companies, $300,000 from pharmaceuticals, $300,000 from hospitals/nursing homes, and $200,000 from health services HMOs. That’s like $2 million bucks.

Bill Nelson, D-Florida: Thus far, Bill has earned $680,000 from health professionals, $540,000 from insurance companies, netting Bill a cool $1.1 million dollars.

Tom Carper D-Delaware: Tom has gotten around $470,000 from insurance companies, $200,000 from pharmaceutical companies, $200,000 from health professionals, or $900,000 bucks.


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3 Responses to “Why Did Max Baucus Cross the Road?”

  1. Public Plan Debate Could Pit Democrat Vs. Democrat – #1 Financing « All About The Politics Says:

    […] Why Did Max Baucus Cross the Road? « I'm Just Saying […]

  2. lowerbackpainspreadingrapidlyup Says:

    No one is going to take your satire seriously if it is so unbelievable as this. You should have said something like, “Max Baucas has received almost $100,000 from insurance companies, but I’m convinced this had no effect on his vote.” THAT is satire! “Max Baucas has received $3.9M from insurance and health providers” is just absurd, and no one will take you seriously. I’m sorry to be harsh, but it had to be said.

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