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America’s shouting match over health care reform has turned completely goofy and I’m not talking about confused seniors at teabag rallies getting red-faced with anger after being told by the right-wing scare machine that “government is trying to take over Medicare.” No, I’m talking about our United States Senators.
Take Max Baucus. Please! He’s the lightweight Montana Democrat to whom President Obama entrusted the heavy job of shepherding health care reform through the upper chamber. It was like asking Tweety Bird to lift a bowling ball.
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Baucus, backed by unanimous and enthusiastic support from every Republican on his committee, has merrily jettisoned reform after reform that the industry opposed. For example, an amendment to require drug-price
discounts for low-income seniors with multiple chronic illnesses: Killed. The provision to include a not-for-profit, public insurance option to increase competition, provide consumer choice, and keep insurance corporations honest: Gone.
Why? Baucus said his goal was to produce a bill that could win the industry’s support and get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
That’s it? That’s his goal? If the meek ever inherit the earth, Baucus will be a land baron! Why isn’t it his goal to produce the best health care there is for all of the American people? Why has he let Republicans (who were voted out of office last year in part because of their failure to deal with people’s health care needs) control the terms of the debate and the content of the Democrat’s bill? Why doesn’t he take a couple of testosterone shots and reach out to the 65% of Americans (including 47% of Republicans and 63% of doctors)who support the public insurance option. Why doesn’t he rally them to kick the selfish health insurance lobbyists right in the butt and do what needs to be done for America.