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. dave

    After we all get free healthcare, I need the gov't to get me a free high-def television. My employer won't give me a free one so I need the gov't to give me one. All people should have equally capable televisions, right? It's not fair that someone should get a better one just because they make more money.

    Once that is done, I vote for the free I-Phones for all!

    September 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Patti

    the poor have medicaid, the rich have private insurance and the working middle class get screwed! Health care reform is about helping the working middle class – who either cannot afford insurance because their employers don't offer it or have been denied.
    WE NEED A PUBLIC OPTION BECAUSE WE CANNOT COUNT ON INSURANCE COMPANIES TO DO THE RIGHT THING!!!! The very people fighting this are often the people who need it the most! "Wake up" YOU need to wake up!! If the insurance companies won't let you buy insurance because of a pre-existing condition – it doesn't matter how hard you work – you are screwed!

    September 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Mel Portland, Oregon

    I sell insurance an NONE of you have a CLUE as to how it really works or that this so called "reform bill" is reform. There is NOTHING about reform in the bill. Period. But there are an awful lot of lovely earmarks in there. . .

    September 28, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Deborah

    I would like to mention; take a look at all this "goverment run programs" Medicare and Medicaid are in trouble; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had to be bailed out by the same Govt. who supported them. Need I continue? The states should be handling healthcare reform; not the Government. It is almost to the point where we are relying on the Government like they were our parents. The more they take care of you; the more dependent you will get. Get a backbone people and help find a different way!

    September 28, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. dave

    A public option would not introduce fair competition to the insurance industry. It would simply introduce a fixed competition whereby no others would be able to compete.

    September 28, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. mike from texas

    Democrats have the majority in congress, so why isn't this bill already passed? Because democrats are not like the republicans. Republicans are all on the same page, they follow one philosophy only and that is to make money. The democrats are "liberal thinkers" and do not all fall under one catagory. The democrats have many different ideas. The republicans seem to have only one idea nowadays, be against whatever the democrats are for. It's really remarkable that one party can follow one philosophy so well, almost like sheep being lead to the slaughter house.

    September 28, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. TRA

    The Insurance Companies are being threatened.......

    Problem= Need to convince the American People that a Public Option will only make the deficit worse.

    Advantage= Recognize that the majority of Americans are lazy when it comes to their own fact finding of the truth, they have a general distrust of their government, and although they want change are very y afraid of change.

    Solution= Make up rumors that play on the irrational fears of many Americans, spice it up with more labels such as socialism and government takeover and then watch as they come running back for more of the same.

    Is it so hard to see people? Your being led around like sheep.

    September 28, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. Patti

    "counting the days until Obama is gone and we can prosper again???? " What planet are you from – like we "prospered under Bush??? Do you ever even read a newspaper?
    Bush and his policies brought us to the edge of economic ruin that we are still trying to dig ourselves out from under.

    September 28, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Chris in NC

    The best way to solve the problem is to allow everyone to decide not to have insurance and just the the whole system collapse, but we know this will never happen.

    Next best option seems to me that we should no longer allow insurance companies to be exempt from antitrust laws to force the issue of competition.

    September 28, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. AEK

    Most politicians have but one true agenda, getting elected and reelected. Their one and only hope is that their constituents have VERY short memories! Our country has one of the greatest economies in the world, even in bad times, and yet also has one of the highest infant mortality rates and thousands of folks dying each year because they can't afford insurance and don't qualify for government programs. There will come a time when the voters will not forget those politicians, left or right, who they feel screwed them in the interest of, let's say, big pharma and the medical insurance companies for example. Let's hope it's soon!

    September 28, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. NO PUBLIC OPTION.........

    no kids singing songs of praise to false idols......we're going back to basics in 2010 and 2012.....back to the Constitution...back to the Bill of Rights.....


    September 28, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. kww

    Answers to points raised above:

    YES, you can KEEP your current insurance if you want. Don't believe the fear being spread by special interests.

    To those who are clamoring for a "free-market" insurance plan that allows you to shop in other states for insurance. This will NOT work. Virtually all the credit card companies are in either Delaware or North Dakota. They can physically locate in ANY state, but they choose between those two. Why? Because those states changed their laws to be very friendly to the credit card companies and pretty much let them do what they want.

    Don't you think the insurance companies will do the same thing?

    When was the last time a credit card company treated you with respect?

    September 28, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. William Alford Perry

    The passage of health care reform must have a real public health insurance option. It is critical for containing skyrocketing cost and guaranteeing security for all Americans. Our health care system is broken, cost is skyrocketing and too many people can’t afford coverage. The public health plan insurance option is the key to fixing these problems. The cost of inaction is too high. Every day that we delay, 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance and nearly 2500 file for bankruptcy because of medical cost. And costs continue to spiral out of control. In the not so distance future the average family premiums will hit $22,000 a year. With the real public option, costs will start to go down and millions of individuals, families and small businesses will have access to high quality, affordable health insurance. And no matter what happens to our jobs or our health, a public option will always be there for us. The “Nay Sayers” in Congress who do not want a public plan themselves have just that a public plan but are trying to deny other Americans the same right. What disgusting and hypocritical self-serving individuals do we have in the United States Congress? A prescription for the public option should be filled.

    September 28, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. g

    Thank god someone is taking this guy on. He has consistantly received more money from donors outside of his home state (i.e. insurance companies, lobbyists, etc) than all his in-state contributions combined. He is a textbook case of someone who puts his self preservation above the needs of the people he serves. He is a Democrat in name only, more often than not he votes along Republican party lines which is evident in the way that he supports the insurance companies and lobbyists at all costs.

    September 28, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Mark

    Why don't these people use the ad money for public health benefits like paying this guy's $100,000 in medical bills? Isn't the motto, "If we can help just one person, it's worth it."?

    September 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Patti

    "rr" – more highly privatized wars like the one in iraq where our government pays outrageous sums to the likes of Halliburton and Blackwater for work that was never even performed is what will bankrupt our nation – not helping our own peope with healthcare costs. Greedy CEOS who continue to rake in obscene amounts of $ for poor job performance and yet force wage cuts on the middle class will bankrupt our nation before social security. The greedy corporations who ship our jobs overseas to be performed at slave wages will bankrupt our country .....why our you begrudging eldery Americans their social securtiy checks but not mad about this???

    September 28, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. LouAz

    Montana's Senator has clearly shown his incompentence. So have most other Senators and Representatives. Throw all the bums out !

    September 28, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Buster

    Public Option is for losers looking to live off the government. The government CANNOT do anything efficient. Tort reform, interstate purchasing AND some of the Dems ideas is the way to go.

    September 28, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. JJ

    We as a society are so selfish, it makes me ill!

    September 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Ralphy

    For all of those persons against a public option:

    1. Who rations your care now? The insurance companies.
    2. Who takes your more of your money every year without increasing benefits? The insurance companies.
    3. Who continues to increase executive pay and privilege while denying coverage? The insurance companies.

    Be mad at big business, not the government. You're letting your outrage get turned toward the wrong institution. Don't be fooled.

    September 28, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. vernis Robertson

    These Republicans spend to much money on ads. And it is all about nothing . Oh forgot this is all the money that they stole doing the Bush/Cheney years.

    September 28, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Independent but never a republican

    For those of you who think republicans have any answers...just look at California. Eight years of a republican governor and it really sucks here.

    Please learn, Republicans always have and always will suck. It's been proven.

    September 28, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. RandyW

    You don't have to be a liberal to see this guy is a sell out to insurance and drug companies. Just follow his money trail back to them.

    Of course you can do that with 99% of those opposed to any help for the average American person. Be in aid to Wall Street or sell out to big business in regulations. Follow the money trails.

    September 28, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Maxer Cat

    It's nice having a health insurance card in your wallet, just hope you never get sick and need to use it, that's when you find out how lousy and costly your insurance really is, start adding up your co-pays, deductibles, out of pocket expenses , uncovered medical expenses and what you pay towards your employee health care. Just hope and pray you don't get sick, because we are all one illness away from losing it all, your life savings, your homes, your cars.......

    A Public Option is a must in health care reform

    This isn't the American dream, it's more like a living nightmare
    The rich get richer and the poor get poorer

    September 28, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    That's good, pretty good!!! 🙂

    He's from Montana, which my boy barely lost by a couple points and his situation is unique, very unique! He is one of those numbers that everybody can relate to, is no secret. And since he is backed by two big organizations, it can help him in the long run and trust me, people will hook him up cause of his story, that I promise you.

    For people like these are no exception, is an inception. They can play a major role and to give you one piece of advice Liberals, ante up! This is a good way to show compassionate and understanding among people who are in fact facing dilemnas. I'm not saying used them but what I am saying is, help them...

    September 28, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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