Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Whose side is Max Baucus on?

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has held three roundtable discussions on health care reform (May 12, May 5, and April 21), even going so far as to say that no option for health care reform is off the table, including the option known as "single-payer" or "the public option".
“Some people say ‘kick the public option off the table.’ The public option’s on the table,” Baucus said. “Nothing’s off the table. The public option might be off to the side a little bit, but it’s still on the table."
But is the public option really on the table? Chairman Baucus hasn't allowed a single advocate for single-payer to testify before the committee, and some have been arrested for protesting this injustice. Yet health insurance companies, drug companies and HMOs have all had a seat at the Finance Committee table.

Even Montana's other Democratic Senator, Jon Tester, is open to at least considering the public option.
"The devil's in the detail on all this stuff. My key is accessibility and affordability. Those are the two things, but I think everything should be on the table," said Tester.
So why do the actions of Senator Baucus not match his words? It's simple: Max Baucus is bought and paid for by the very same people who are testifying before his committee. Over the course of his career, guess who makes the top five donors list for Senator Baucus?
Lawyers/Law Firms - $1,579,973
Securities & Investment - $1,458,035
Insurance - $1,170,313
Health Professionals - $1,016,276
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products - $734,605
[emphasis mine]
Hospitals/Nursing Homes come in at #9 with $541,891 in contributions. And since this post is about health care reform, I won't even go into the $1.4 million in contributions from the same people who caused the economic meltdown in this country.

Given such investment by big moneyed corporate interests, when Senator Baucus says no option is off the table, it's a lot like Joe Isuzu saying, "You have my word on it."


Post a Comment

<< Home