The obvious one, of course, is that it contains no public option which makes it a bill that absolutely can not be supported. But even if it had contained that alternative, I could still not advocate the passage of the health care reform legislation proposed by Montana Sen. Max Baucus. Here's why:
In his recent impassioned speech on the subject to a joint session of Congress, President Obama clearly stated that any health care reform bill could not allow people to be denied health insurance based on pre-existing conditions. Baucus' bill disobeys that mandate, although he does so maliciously by substituting age for pre-existing conditions. His bill indexes the cost of health insurance to a person's age -- allowing insurers to charge up to five times as much for older citizens than younger ones -- and it just stands to reason that the older you are, the more likely you're going to have pre-existing conditions because you have simply existed longer.
It will also result in employers discriminating against older job seekers because the health care premiums of those workers would be more costly. It will also result in denying insurance coverage to a segment of the population that needs it most, destroy the concept of shared risk -- the foundation for health care reform in the first place -- and make insurance increasingly unaffordable the older you get.
Fortunately, far more sensible health care reform bills have been introduced in the House, so we don't lose anything by killing Baucus' Senate bill as soon as possible.