Did Sen. Baucus Just use a Jedi Mind Trick to Confuse About the Public Plan?

The word coming out of Washington over the last few days dealing with healthcare reform legislation reminds me somewhat of the Jedi hand wave mind trick from the original 1977 Star Wars movie.

Luke, Obi-Wan, and the two droids are entering the village where they hoped to find a pilot who can help them escape the Imperial blockade, but they are stopped at a roadblock by Stormtroopers searching for the two droids.

Stormtrooper: Let me see your identification.

Obi-Wan: [with a small wave of his hand] You don’t need to see his identification.

Stormtrooper: We don’t need to see his identification.

Obi-Wan: These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

Stormtrooper: These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.

Obi-Wan: He can go about his business.

Stormtrooper: You can go about your business.

Obi-Wan: Move along.

Stormtrooper: Move along… move along.

After being confronted by a number of Democrats in the House last week over possibly getting soft on  adding the so called “Public Plan” in health care reform legislation, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told a press briefing “will get to this a little later.”

It was not reported whether, or not he waved his hand, but Baucus went on to say he wants to get a “little momentum” behind health reform legislation before the committee tackles such a divisive issue.

“Cool it,” Baucus said. “We don’t have to deal with it now. It’s kind of a hot-button item.” (Maybe another little wave of the hand?)

Essentially, Baucus said he will temporarily set aside talks on a new public insurance option to focus on maintaining employer self-insurance plans.

According to CQ Today, Baucus turned attention to large self-insured employers saying he would aim to preserve this self-insurance system while expanding private coverage and public programs such as Medicaid. He said, “We’ll end up with more private insurance and more public insurance.”

As for the creation of a new public insurance option, Baucus said that it is “on the table,” adding that it “might be to the side a little bit, … but it’s still on the table.” He added, “We’re trying to get momentum going. We’ll get to the public option a little later. Let’s not forget: There’s an awful lot more here than the public option” (Young, The Hill, 4/24).

Move along… move along…

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