(CNN) - Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, is facing heightened criticism from members of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party over his panel's health reform bill that lacks the so called "public option" for health insurance.
In a new 60 second commercial that begins running Tuesday in Baucus' home state and in Washington, D.C., Montana farmer Bing Perrine urges Baucus to support a public option - something the senator has ruled out in a bid to gain bipartisan support for the measure. Perrine said that he faces more than $100,000 in medical bills because of heart problems.
The ad is being paid for by the two liberal advocacy organizations: Progressive Change Committee and Democracy for America.
The Montana Democrat has instead backed more limited health cooperatives, a move that so far has failed to attract any firm GOP support and has angered some members of his own party. Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia have introduced an amendment to Baucus' bill that would add a public option. The amendment will be voted on as early as Tuesday in the Finance committee.
"Senator Baucus, when you take millions of dollars from health and insurance interests that oppose reform, and oppose giving families like mine the choice of a public option, I have to ask: 'Whose side are you on?'" Perrine, said in the new ad.
Progressive Change Committee and Democracy for America said they will initially spend $50,000 on the ad and hope to raise an additional $50,000 to keep it on the air.
Full Script after the jump:
BING: My name is Bing Perrine and I live here in Billings, Montana, with my beautiful wife and baby boy. Last June, I collapsed because of congenital heart problems. I need open-heart surgery, but I have no insurance and no company will insure me.
My friends and family have been a blessing. With hearts as big as a Montana sky, they have helped with bake sales and benefits. But my wife and I still owe over $100,000 in medical bills.
None of this debt would have piled up if I had the option of buying into a public health insurance plan.
Private insurance companies need competition. They profit by denying care to people like me.
Senator Baucus, when you take millions of dollars from health and insurance interests that oppose reform - and oppose giving families like mine the choice of a public option - I have to ask: whose side are you on?
Any proposal in our Congress today does not "reform" healthcare. The current proposals merely let the Democrats buy more votes by increasing the number of people beholding to them for their livelihood. We need separate legislative actions that attack the access issue of the 35 to 50 million (pick your pundits number) of uninsured; a bill that attacks the cost of healthcare through tort reform, government funded pharmacutical and high-tech medical research and development; and increased tutition with set pay back for students wishing to become doctors to address the doctor shortage. All will help "reform" healthcare, not like the current bills which will merely increase the budget deficit and incourage people to give up their insurance and go tot he government.
They need to target all the rest of those so called Democrats who really for some strange reason think they need to pay attention to the Republicans who stole all our money and won't support a bill no matter what you but in it. You would think they won the election . We didn't put the president in there to cave in to the robbers. Stop looking like a bunch of weaklings. And they should also target those blue dogs who are nothing but Traders. We finally get a Democratic senate and house and look what happens. What a group of idiots. Wait when the Republicans get back in office. You think they'll care about bipartisanship. Wake up Idiots.
If we had campaign finance reform and kept big money OUT of our politics, this wouldn't even be an issue. Over 65% of Americans support the Public Option or Single Payer. Baucus is obviously torn and is struggling with his conscience. We need to keep the pressure on and get this done. Hopefully, someday we can get to the root of the problem and attack campaign financing by big $$$ interests... both corporations AND unions. GET BIG $$$ INTERESTS OUT OF OUR GOVERNMENT NOW!
Maybe if Sen. Baucus didn't have some pre-conceived notion that any of the Republicans want to work out a bipartisan agreement, he woldn't have half the problems he's got now. Wake up, man!!!! Even though you don't have a public option in your bill and you shaved as much fat as you could off the bill to reduce costs, you STILL don't have GOP support. My feeling is that since the Dems now have 60 seats in the Senate and that the GOP has had half a year to agree to a bipartisan bill, the Dems need to take control and move forward with the public option, no matter how much the GOP and the insurance lobbyists whine and gripe.
When was the last time congress passed a legislation for the benefit of people? USA has become one big morally challenged and socially unconscious Corporation run by lobbyists of Corporations, for corporations and by corporations where the sole reason of its existence is to make a buck at any price.
I have had employer-based health insurance my whole working life and I have never had a choice. I get what the employer buys but one thing for sure I have had an increase in my premium every year and the service has reduced. Within the last couple of years, I now have to pay a co-pay to every business that touch my health care. I used to pay to my primary care physician only. So, the insurance companies have found ways to make more money but reduce their service to you. So, if the insurance companies are charging my employer and me more to cover the uninsured and the underinsured, then I pray a public option will be available for these Americans. Plus, I really cannot believe that as Americans we do not care if our people die from illnesses because of no health insurance. I pray that we are not that evil.
Until you are unemployed and uninsured then you care. This it dont affect me attitude is what brought us here. I work in healthcare and see it day in and day out. The cost are out of control acrross the board. Guess who foot the bill for the uninsured, we the tax payer so requiring healthcare is not a bad thing it just need to be affordable and the only way to do it is through a public option. Do you think insurance companies are going to lower rate by themselves? I have a Cadillac plan and make ove 1M a year but I remember what it was like to just get by.
I'd like to see some coverage of how unequal health care governemnt benefits are distributed to our youth, students, even middle-aged workers who qualify as middle class in this country...we don't seem to care if the younger generation, our future, gets sick! University doctors and most low cost clinics are absolute cattle calls, sometimes people wait for hours. Why no coverage on the lavish entitlement benefits bestowed even on wealthy or upper middle class seniors? I'm not sure that the average person realizes how unequal these programs are. It seems like the spotlight is contiually on the angry senior citizen, most of the town halls were dominated by the social security crowd who have the least to be angry about in my opinion. I think they are only protecting their own overly generous benefits, taken without regard to whether they could or could not pay for some of the cost themselves. If you don't have even adequate health insurance, why is it fair that you are mandated to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid without an examination of the fairness of the programs? Please give us better coverage of the age groups!!
Can anyone explain where in the Constitution a public option is authorized? No, you can't.
Notice that the words "general welfare" are a restrictive element of a taxation clause; they have nothing to do with granting any powers. And "necessary and proper" only extends to what is necessary for executing those powers that are granted.
Rick McDaniel...thats a stupid thing for you to say about the uninsured...I am a nurse and I have insurance and I'm not stupid enough to think reform is not needed. I wonder what you would do if you lost your job and you needed assistance...thats if you even have medical insurance...idiot
My mother has taught school for 30 years, is a non-smoker with low cholesterol, and is in good health. The insurance offered to teachers in our area costs $1,400.00/month regardless of the number of people in the household. If my stepfather didn't have good insurance available through his work, my mom wouldn't be able to afford what's available to her. She works 50-60 hours per week. Don't begin to think for a second that she or any other teacher is lazy or has a hand out.
It is selfish and ignorant to argue against providing a low cost public option to all who need it.
this is a another hachet job by george soris gang of thugs and smear mongers,,,, how sad ,,, hang tough senator,,,
Of the uninsured , who cannot afford health care even if they do work ,often low pay jobs and their unpaid medical bills cannot be paid in view of this fact , which can lead bankruptcy and bad credit revues for any future chance they may have to prosper. What would the solution be ? Perhaps re-instate the draft and send them off to some illegal war so the stock holders can make some $ and let it trickle down to thoose who are left ?
EVERY Senator or Congressman receiving money from the Insurance and Heath-care industries to defeat a public option should be called out.
Their names and dollar amounts should be put in bold red fonts for all voters to see and to see how they vote in committee and all final passage. Also, the timing of the vote in the final passage to see if they sit on the sidelines until an outcome is achieved, only to say they voted in favor or againest it to appease the lobbyists and voters.
If you don't like their position/vote then throw all incumbents out next November, then again in 2012 and 2016.
Sure thing folks – we could throw out the current bills and start over – with SINGLE PAYER. Medicare for everyone who wants it. The system is already in place, so the start-up cost would be less, we could fix the subsidies insurance companies get already through medicare and stop the rip-off. The constant need of the Republicans to diminish everything about health care reform really indicates a refusal to participate in the democratic process, as well as a lack of concern about what the majority of Americans want or need.
Mr. Baucus is dead wrong on his health care reform bill.
There isn't any reform without single payer or at least the public option.
Whose pockets is he in anyway?
Medicare and Medicaid are LIMITED Govt. programs; can you liberals not get that through your head? Where are the costs to insure every single American in the US going to come from? Your kids and grandkids will be paying for it; just as they will the bailout. Did ya read the news that the banks are not going to pay us back? Now in the news today; liberal Congress is wanted to insure illegals. Man.....move the heck out of this country if you want a socialist soceity and quit allowing the Govt. to lead you around on a leash. I'm sure the libs will throw Baucus under the bus; just as they did Lieberman. It's only a matter of time.
My cousin died last week from undiagnosed congestive heart failure at the age of 35 leaving behind 4 young children because she didn't have medical insurance. She was having trouble breathing, had dark circles under her eyes and was fatigued all the time. Thinking it would pass, she did instead. So now the government will shell out more money for social security to take care of her kids, because she is no longer here. What will cost more in the long run? A lot of the people who are against the public option already have health insurance. Please think about those who make a dollar over the limite to qualify for Medicaid, but make too little to afford to buy health insurance. What kind of country do we really live in? The haves and the have nots? Isn't that why we fought the Revolutionary War?
But don't you liberals understand that for the 'public option' you will pay a monthly premium and also be taxed at the end of each year, as the government option will need to be supported with tax money as well as monthly premiums?
I can almost bet the Democrats will lose control of both the House and the Senate come 2010 because of this healthcare reform. They were not prepared; did not have the proper information; and you can't keep Obama behind his desk long enough to come to a bi-partisan agreement. Inexperienced Leader and a dinasour house and senate. Time for an overhaul on Capitol Hill.
Baucus is a heathcare insurance company shill. They are some of his major contributors. He is a traitor to the healthcare reform initiative.
THE BAUCUS BILL IS DOA as it stands right now.
Only if the PUBLIC OPTION is added back into this bill does it stand ANY chance of being passed.
For those of you who think government can provide all of the answers to your problems, just look at California. They enacted massive entitlement legislation and now they are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. The Federal Government is now well on it's way to insolvency even before any health care legislation is enacted.
If the bill goes in without the public OPTION, it will be semi-worthless. It will be a moderate health insurance reform measure only! Many Democrats in the House and Senate will pay for this at election time. Essentially, Because the Democratic leadership started out with a position of compromise when the health care reform issue began, they essentially gave up! But the real truth is that , in fact, most Amdericans want a public option, whether you like it or not. Also, the real fact is that the health insurance compnaies have come to CONTROL health care - NOT THE GOVERNMENT (a fact for the selfish right-wing so-called conservatives!).
I am a self involved narcissist who would rather buy a HUMV than be part of a moral imperative to help my fellow countrymen fulfill a basic human need – medical care – when they are down on their luck. In fact, I am self righteously yelling about it at a town hall meeting whenever I can while I strap a gun to my leg to get the attention I never got from my Daddy. Would an insurance company ever steer me wrong?
As he should be. His proposed Health Care Bill should of included the Public Option. Do these guys not hear the American people? If they don't hear them now, they probably will come their next election, which they probably won't win. So my advice to them is to listen to the majority of the people...not the loud ones....not the ones shouting out the lies and hatred...but those, the majority who want Public Option. To make us a great country again, they (the blue dogs)or whatever you call them, needs to support the President, we the people elected.