Former Health Ins. VP Wrote Max Baucus Health Plan

September 10, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, tasked with drafting health care reform legislation, finally released on Tuesday, his long promised compromise health reform bill and its drawing criticism for appeasing powerful insurance and pharmaceutical interests, as the main author is none other than a former health insurance executive.

And Sen. Baucus, acknowledging his true constituents, delivered the first copy of his health plan to Capitol Hill lobbyists, before providing President Obama and his Senate colleagues with a copy of his health plan proposal.

Max Baucus’ senior aide, Liz Fowler is a former VP for Public Policy and External Affairs at WellPoint, a health insurance company which is the largest member of Blue Cross and Blue Shield. WellPoint has aggressively lobbied against health reform, especially a public option.

The company has recently come under fire for pressuring its employees to lobby against health care reform claiming reform would cause “…tens of millions of Americans to lose their private coverage and end up in a government-run plan.”

According to Firedoglake, “the name Liz Fowler appears as the author in the document properties of the PDF file circulated by Baucus’ staff earlier this week.” However, this comes as no surprise, since Sen. Baucus’ impartiality has already been questioned during this process, as he has benefited from about $3,973,485 in campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries from 2003 to 2008.

The Baucus health plan excludes a public option, which President Obama championed in his speech in a joint session to Congress Wednesday night, as an important element of health reform.

His plan is also drawing criticism for its many corporate friendly provisions, such as penalizing individuals $3,800 for not purchasing health coverage, while the penalty for businesses is only $400 per employee. The small corporate penalty is only a fraction of the full cost of providing health coverage and would not serve as an incentive to purchase employer-provided health care.

Baucus’ plan is also under fire for its high cost of $850 billion to $900 billion over 10 years, while still not providing health care to every American with a public option.

Baucus is a member of the so called “gang of six” Democrat and Republican senators working to draft a bipartisan health care bill, which has largely stalled due to Republican obstructionism.

Accordingly, Baucus announced this week he planned to proceed with or without, Republican support and introduce a chairman’s mark of his proposed health care bill next week.


Comments

8 Responses to “Former Health Ins. VP Wrote Max Baucus Health Plan”

  1. Tim on September 10th, 2009 1:41 pm

    This isn’t fair. I don’t agree with much of what is in the Baucus plan, which I think is a huge step backwards from the House plan, but Liz Fowler is a well-respected health policy analyst. She did work briefly for Wellpoint, but before that she was on Senate Finance Committee staff, as well as being staff for Senator Moynihan and Congressman Stark, and working at HCFA. She is well-known in health policy circles, and not as an insurance company advocate. I am confident Liz got the best deal she could, considering who she was working with.

  2. Former Health Ins. VP Wrote Max Baucus Health Plan - health insurance on September 10th, 2009 2:37 pm

    […] Read the original post:  Former Health Ins. VP Wrote Max Baucus Health Plan […]

  3. Jim on September 11th, 2009 9:03 am

    To assume that Liz Fowler is a “sellout” doing WellPoint’s bidding is just irrational, and is an injustice to her character. Would the same outrage be expressed if the bill were written by a former employee of the AFL-CIO? We owe Liz Fowler – and all public servants – an important benefit of the doubt.

  4. max on September 11th, 2009 10:51 am

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=The+Max+Baucus
    “Oh man, I don’t know what’s going on but I got all these white bumps down there and everything burns, and I think I’m going blind and my private health insurance won’t cover it… I think I’ve totally got The Max Baucus!”

  5. Fox News Inspired Protesters Locked in Voodoo Trance « Pak Alert Press on October 19th, 2009 12:44 pm

    […] is not about socialism. It’s about mega-corporations gaining market share at gunpoint. The Baucus version of Obamacare was written by a senior aide, Liz Fowler, a former VP for Public Policy and External Affairs at […]

  6. Fox News Inspired Protesters Locked in Voodoo Trance | NW0.eu on October 28th, 2009 5:38 am

    […] is not about socialism. It’s about mega-corporations gaining market share at gunpoint. The Baucus version of Obamacare was written by a senior aide, Liz Fowler, a former VP for Public Policy and External Affairs at […]

  7. The BRAD BLOG : Progressives of America - Unite! on December 20th, 2009 11:18 pm

    […] get when private greed replaces public good in the legislative process. The pending Senate bill was drafted by Liz Fowler, a former VP for Public Policy and External Affairs at WellPoint (now Anthem/Blue […]

  8. Pookie on August 25th, 2010 12:55 pm

    I just read that Bacuas admitted that he has not read the ObamaCare bill. Is this true?

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