With his health care reform bill finally in committee, finance chair Max Baucus appears to have given up on a truly bipartisan bill. On day one yesterday, "he seemed to be moving back to the left again," writes Mike Madden in Salon. He agreed to a host of modifications suggested by Democrats to make reform easier on lower-income Americans, and his aides didn't seem to mind the ensuing criticism from the right.
“No one should die because they cannot afford health care. This bill would fix that,” said Baucus during negotiations. “No one should go bankrupt because they get sick. This bill would fix that.” Amendments increasing subsidies for the needy and reducing caps on out-of-pocket expenses are now turning up from Baucus even as he infuriates the insurance companies that have given him millions. As the battle limps slowly towards a close, Baucus appears to looking for a space back in the fold.