In a move which is certain to upset many bloggers on the left wing fringe, Senator Max Baucus has arranged to do away with any changes once envisioned for the American health care system in the Senate health care reform bill. The new plan will cost substantially less ($0) than the nine hundred billion dollars over ten years which President Barack Obama has called for. Futher, the new plan will not add to the deficit, but conversely will not save any future costs associated with rising health care prices.
"We had to reach a compromise which would pave the way for this historic reform in a bipartisan way" said a relieved Baucus. He was joined by Senator Olympia Snowe who offered reserved support for the plan. "I saw history calling on the caller i.d. and I almost let the answering maching take it, but then I thought 'what the hey'" she said.
When asked exactly how the bill would reform anything, Baucus announced the formation of a blue ribbon panel to study how health insurance providers can become better corporate citizens as the main component of the Senate bill. If adopted the panel would be composed of six conservative Republicans and six 'blue dog' Democrats. Under no circumstance would any member be allowed on the panel if they had ever supported a single payer health system. Any recomendation by the panel would be presented to the Finance committee for possible legislative approval no earlier than 2019. When asked why it would take 10 years to pass any law which would affect the health insurance industry, Baucus said any change should come only after a "thoughtful and delibrative process."
While the Baucus proposal recieved immediate support from several key Republicans, there are signs of growing opposition by a predominantly conservative southern bloc of Senators. When asked about the proposal Senator Tom Coburn scoffed. "The idea that the federal government, which is currently being led by Barack HUSSEIN Obama, can dictate to our health insurance providers how to conduct their affairs is simply absurd. Why it reminds me of 30's Germany, or the cold war era USSR!"
Rush Limbaugh attacked the proposal imploring the insurance industry to "not bend over and take it just because his father is black". The story broke when Glenn Beck was on air, causing a tearful outburst in which Beck sobbed "my country... oh my America...". Many conservative blogs called for barricades in the streets, reminders that "1st they came for my health insurance provider and I did nothing", interspersed with calls for people to "READ THE BILL!"
The announcement was not recieved warmly by many liberals either. When asked about the Baucus proposal Speaker Nancy Pelosi just rolled her eyes and asked for the next question. Senator Russ Feingold vowed to fight the plan saying that any reform which did not have a public option would face a fillibuster of at least 35 Senators who agreed with him. Representative Alan Grayson announced that Senator Baucus was a "sad excuse for a Democrat, or a badly confused Republican, I can't figure out which, but either way he's just pathetic... plus he's just plain ugly."
Reaction from the White House appeared contradictory at best. One administration insider said off the record that the announcement was greeted by high fives and cheering in the oval office. But other insiders announced that the Baucus proposal would be "dead on arrival. Not just dead but wrapped in bloody newspaper and stuck in Rupert Murdocks bed!" Robert Gibbs said the President was "cautiously optimistic that he would be able to sign historic legislation, whatever it may look like."