September 28th, 2009
02:09 PM ET
13 years ago

Baucus targeted by liberal groups in new ad

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Baucus is facing fire from liberal groups in a new ad."](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?

Filed under: Health care • Max Baucus • Popular Posts
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Gloria Helderman

    If we don't have a public option, nothing is going to change.

    September 28, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. MCD, SF, CA

    This ad is right... call it what it is. Any reform without a public option is too watered down to make a difference.

    I heard on the radio yesterday that a study came out that showed in the last decade, healthcare premiums have risen 90 to 150%!!!

    September 28, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Roger

    Great idea, this should be done in all states that have conservative & blue dog democrats, if they can not get on board & support the will of the American people & NONE of the GOP are going to support any reform BLAST THEM now & again when they are up for re-election. If they want to act like republicans leave our party & go to the party of NO...

    September 28, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Wake Up

    Public option is garbage. Everyone needs to support themselves. If you are disabled, then fed govt. can help you, but no more for the lazy and unwilling. Many of us have 2 jobs, and are sick of supporting the lazy. Capitialism makes this govt. strong and hard working.

    September 28, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Scott, Tucson

    I don't like the ideal of Americans who choose not to enroll into a health care plan would be fine or jailed by the IRS. It smacks of communism.

    September 28, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Mamixztwo

    We need the public option. We need ads like this everywhere..against republicans AND blue dogs who oppose reform and are getting paid millions by the insurance lobby! Call them out for all to see who they are REALLY working for!

    September 28, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. phoenix86

    Baucus should be impeached. I found it troubling that he refused to allow time for the bill to be read. This smaks of someone trying to get something into law that they know the voters don't want.

    Hopefully Montana will wake up and retire this idiot.

    September 28, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. susanj

    No ifs, ands or buts – WE NEED A PUBLIC OPTION to keep the corrupt insurance companies and the nasty, Senators who are profting from the insurance companies, from robbing the citizens of this country BLIND and KILLING them. Talk about death panels!

    September 28, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. GOPunk

    GOP wants ONLY Private Control of Health Care Which is:


    2. Fair Competition will be only if there is PUBLIC OPTION.

    3. MAFIA / GOP does not want PUBLIC OPTION. Mafia / GOP wants all PRIVATIZATION, so that they can Plunder, Embezzle and Extort.

    4. HEALTH Insurance in America has failed – It must succeed now.




    September 28, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. victim of republican greed

    If I mail a letter to Wasilla, AK, I can use the public option for 44 cents, or I can overnight it by using the private private option for around $15.

    It would seem that a lot more people would also be able to use the affordable option in health care if it was made available.

    September 28, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Susan in Sunnyvale, CA

    If a Democratic congress passes the Baucus bill, then I give up. Just let the Republicans run the country and leave me alone.

    Dems–this is our chance to show what good we can do for America. The Republicans had 8 years to demonstrate their value to the country and they blew it!!! Big time. Let's not follow in their footsteps.

    September 28, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. Public Option = Good

    If you don't like the public option then how can you say you support the troops?

    The public option puts us all in an affordable option.

    September 28, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. patNY

    how anyone can say they are happy with their insurance coverage amazes me!

    your incomes have fallen because of the amount of money your employer have had to increasingly pay towards your premium, and your copay have risen, and your actual coverage has diminished.

    if you are happy with this situation, then keep your lousy private insurance and give us the option of the public plan!

    September 28, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Public Option = Good

    You can trust the gov't more than you can trust a corporation.

    September 28, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Moderate Democrat

    This is EXACTLY what we need. We MUST have a public option.

    If insurance companies and their minions are worried that they can not compete against what they themselves claim will be a 'horrible government run system'...then how retardedly poor is the current system?

    Drop the bipartisan part. The retarded right wing will NEVER do anything to better america. Never has happened and won't happen now. Leave them crying and let's get on with fixxing america!

    September 28, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. john

    rassmussen poll Septe 28th 2009 shows 41% support for PREs Obama healthcare reform. Over 56% are opposed. This is the lowest level of support yet. Obama has lost the independents and seniors in this debate. If obamacare passes look out in the 2010 elections.

    September 28, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. diridi

    to rob the nation???? we need health care reform with PUBLIC is only way to compete...ok....just pass this legislation first and talk....

    September 28, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. John

    Let's try the Baucus plan for a few years. See if it works. If the cost of healthcare and insurance premiums do not decrease, then trigger in the Public Option in say.... 5 years. It doesn't matter how you label it. Healthcare premiums must go down!!!!

    September 28, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. DJ

    Yes people are increasingly becoming skeptical of Senator Baucus due to the huge amount of money he gets from the lobbyists. We need a public's not about right-wing nuts, profits or lobbyists. It's about what's best for the middle class and the millions with no job.

    September 28, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Monrob

    Having a public option IS Capitalism!


    September 28, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. victim of republican greed

    I wonder if the retirees in Arizona will be allowed to keep their medicare and VA benefits when they pass the no government health care plan in November of 2010.

    September 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Mike in MN

    I can't tell if the Democrats are just really stupid when they say the Republicans are the ones obstructing health care reform, or if they are just trying to cover their own behinds. Clearly the Republicans do not have enough votes in either the House or Senate to stop the Democrats from passing any bill they want. The Republicans wish they actually had the votes to obstuct Obamacare.
    As this article clearly demonstrates, the Democrats are split on the public option and can't generate enough votes to pass a bill with or without a public option.
    The Democrats are responsible for obstructing health care reform. Their claim that it is the Republicans who are obstructing shows they are really really stupid or that they are lying in an effort to hide the fact that they are the party responsible for obstructing and to hide just how terrible a leader Obama has been on this issue.

    September 28, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Jimmy

    NO Public option, No Universal health care, No to this disaster of a healthcare proposal, throw it out and start over. Reform the insurance companies, allow all insurance companies to compete in all 50 states. Insurance needs to be affordable and available for all to PURCHASE on their own..........not tax some to pay for others!

    September 28, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Fallen Chief

    Nothing in this country ever gets done anymore. This country has no sense of it's self anymore and I hate it. I trully have given up on politicans and their greed on BOTH sides. This public option is a good thing. But they will never give it to us. I AM NOT HOLDING MY BREATH for the public option.

    September 28, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. KG, MN

    If you say "my insurance is good" you're playing a waiting game that you will lose. Rates will continue to go up while coverage decreases. I know this to be fact. I work for a major, in the publie eye, health insurance company. Competition is needed to drive down costs.

    September 28, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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