Ezra does a great job explaining what Baucus released today:
Do not think of this as Max Baucus’s health care plan. It isn’t. Not yet. As of now, it’s a policy paper, not a piece of legislation. It is the beginning of Max Baucus’s attempt to create a health care reform process. What Baucus has offered is not the Max Baucus health care plan, but the generic Democratic health care plan. The place from which the policy process among congressional Democrats can start.
The whole post is worth a read if you are confused by what’s going on.
Ezra’s also the guy who turned me on to policy v. politics in fight for health care reform, and he’s got a second post on Baucus and the latter that’s good too.
In case you’re curious, here’s the HCAN statement on Baucus:
Health Care for America Now (HCAN) applauds Senator Baucus for coming up with a comprehensive health care plan that is a blueprint for enacting quality, affordable health care for everyone in 2009 and is generally consistent with our principles – the principles also supported by President-elect Obama and more than 150 members of the 111th Congress who have already signed on to HCAN’s Statement of Common Purpose.
We also welcome Senator Baucus’ support for regulating the private insurance industry and offering Americans the choice of public as well as private insurance.