Mary Whorley at Whorley Dervish shared Rachel Maddow's School of Crock segment (those of us over 35 know the reference). She writes:
The Republicans were there so that Baucus would have plausible deniability along the lines of "the Republicans made me do it," which is politically less damning than "I did it for my corporate masters."
This is a game that has been going on in our two party system for years. The Republicrats owe their livelihood to big corporate interests (Read carefully -- I mean both sides of the aisle). Baucus did what he did because he was well paid:
The Montana Democrat is enjoying this largesse — some $3.9 million in contributions from the health care industry since 1989 — principally because of his place as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. The panel is at the center of this year's health care debate, and on Wednesday Baucus released his view of how the medical system should be reshaped: an $856 billion, 10-year package of changes.
The stream of generous campaign contributions from doctors, drug makers, hospitals and other medical interests didn't stop at the chairman's door. It extends to the other members of the so-called Gang of Six, the two Democratic and three Republican senators who labored with Baucus since June to produce what he hoped would be a bipartisan bill. All have received above-average donations from the health-care world.
Among them, the six senators have raised $10.7 million since 1989 from the industries and people with the most at stake financially in the overhaul effort. That's an average of nearly $1.8 million apiece over that period, more than triple the roughly $560,000 average for all other senators and representatives.
So the acid test is here. Now that we have bills going to both chambers. There is a way for good health care reform to still pass. It would have to be fast and it would NOT be bipartisan. But it could happen. If the Democrats have the balls and really mean it, they can do it.
If they don't do this. If they pass the Baucus bill and not the house bill or something closer to the Baucus bill than HR3200, then they never meant it.
We need to hold the Democrats and Obama accountable.