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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/21/09

Baucus Flees Single Payer Questions, Conducts Business of Health Care in Secret

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This morning I got up early to go to the Kaiser Foundation before Senator Baucus arrived in order to ask him some questions.  We had tried to RSVP to the event but were told we were not allowed because of our single payer views.  The meeting was for reporters including bloggers, and I am regularly published on many websites, but it was not for independent reporters who would ask Baucus tough questions.


We didn’t get to ask Senator Baucus any questions because he fled down an alley into a service entrance.  He was prepared to park in front of Kaiser but when he saw several cameras, me and others outside he decided retreat was the better alternative.  So, he drove into a heavy metal door protected garage and did not get out of his car until the door was closed and he was safely away from questions from the public.


We’re keeping the pressure on and it is important for there to be a continuous stream of emails and phone calls to Congress urging single payer health care.  It should be included in the debate and when it is the end result will be a single payer national health care plan.  Please take action right now and tell your representatives in the Senate and House that single payer is the health care plan you support.  Click here to take action.


See the video of the encounter here:

Why is Senator Baucus afraid to answer questions from the public? 

I wanted to ask Senator Baucus: do you think that the millions in campaign donations you have taken from the pharmaceutical industry, HMO’s and insurance industry throughout your career are corrupting health care reform?  Do you think that this corruption will cause health care reform to fail?


He is so afraid of the public knowing what is going on that he is taking the unusual approach of marking up the health care reform bill in secret behind closed doors.  This is usually something reserved for national security issues.  An issue as important as health care – something that affects every American very personally – is usually written in public so we can see how the issues are discussed, debated and voted on.


Why is Baucus afraid to do this in public?  Because the public is watching and is well informed.  He knows the health care bill – which should really be called an insurance industry corporate welfare bill – is very fragile.  They are already having a hard time holding their coalition of health care profiteers together.  And, they are receiving aggressive opposition from single payer advocates who Baucus is doing his best to exclude. 


He’s excluding us because on every issues – cost control, coverage and choice – single payer wins.  It is the only way that health care for all can be something the country can afford.  It is the only way to ensure every American is covered throughout their lives. And, it is the national health care program that would provide Americans with the widest choice of doctors, clinics, hospitals and treatments.  No other policy option comes close.  Baucus knows that so he is excluding single payer from the debate.

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Kevin Zeese is co-chair of Come Home America, www.ComeHomeAmerica.US which seeks to end U.S. militarism and empire. He is also co-director of Its Our Economy, www.ItsOurEconomy.US which seeks to democratize the economy and give people greater (more...)
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