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. Hennessy Cognac Black, WI

    IF we had REFUSED to bailout AIG, the banks, the Automotive Industry and all the fat cats on Wall Street with our hard earned tax dollars we would not be having a discussion about a Public Option... we would have a PUBLIC OPTION!

    We would have a PUBLIC OPTION because these corporations would NOT have our tax dollars to fight against it and a totally new, fair system of FINANCE would have evolved... we allowed the STATUS QUO not only to be rebuilt, but enhanced!

    ANYONE who voted for the bailout should be targeted by the voters for extinction: they do NOT serve WE THE PEOPLEā€¦

    September 28, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Unemployed

    Baucus is no idiot. Not when he knows which side of the bread is buttered. Our representative government is representative in name only as long as lobbying is legal. Baucus would have no trouble accepting what's good for society if his loyalties weren't the property of the highest bidder. Everyone knows this yet for some reason the anti lobby movement doesn't have the traction it should.

    When this healthcare fight is over we ought aim our sights at lobbying and it's corrupt effect on a true democracy.

    September 28, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Those who oppose a public option must be communist.

    How did I arrive at this conclusion?

    A public option would introduce competition into the health insurance marketplace, a cornerstone of capitalism.

    Therefore, if you oppose a public option, you must oppose capitalism and are a communist.

    Stupid, huh? So are the arguments here against the public option.

    September 28, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Counting the days until the Obamanation is GONE and America can prosper again

    What? He's a Democrap. How can other Democraps hate their own?

    September 28, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Sam in Albuquerque

    It's a bait-and-switch anyway. A single-payer system is what we were promised, what works in other countries, will save lives and improve quality of life, and what we need to compete internationally. There is not one good reason to have health insurance companies standing between us and our health care!

    September 28, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. wait a minute

    The public option is a self-sustaining government-run system on a sliding fee scale for the Middle Class. It is not a free handout system.

    If people want to get together and pay for their care, why should Congress reject their proposal?

    September 28, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    The Congressional Budget Office recently released a letter on health care reform, including the conclusion that a public option would reduce premiums across the board.

    Sounds good to me!

    September 28, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Jane/Seattle

    Max Baucas is nothing more than just another Shill for anyone who will give up the cash for the Unethical to do their bidding. This IS Fascism, the marriage of government and corporate money! I say throw out any and all who play this game for profits. You work for us and it's about time so many of you figure this out and stop the revolving door of politics to lobbying! We are on to you folks. Peace

    September 28, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Mike in MN

    There are some really stupid liberals out there which may explain why the Democrats can't get this done.
    Some think the insurance companies have a monopoly. A monopoly would be if there was only 1 insurance company, there are hundreds. Single payer government universal health care would be a monopoly.
    But states do limit how many companies can offer plans in their state. Tear this down and let all companies compete in every state and you will have a tremendous increase in competition. Just get government out of the way. Less government and not more will bring the biggest increase in competion. Government has been responsible for the lack of competition and higher costs.

    September 28, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Enough

    Why do people think it is the governments responsibility to take care of them, by taking from those who take care of themselves? Time to take responsibility for yourself and not expect the government and everyone else to take care of you.

    September 28, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Centrist

    The latest reports still show the majority of Americans (65%) want a public option in our health-care reforms.

    September 28, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Right now, you stop paying FICA on any income you earn above $90,000.

    Removing that limit would provide needed funding for the health care reform the majority of Americans want and need.

    Asking the wealthy to pay their way is reasonable. And they can afford it.

    Afterall, if it weren't for the opportunity and freedoms our country gives them, they wouldn't be wealthy in the first place.

    September 28, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |

    We need a public option, because the insurance companys are stealing people blind. even if you can afford to buy private insurance, some where in your policy there will be a clause that is hidden that says that they wont pay if it is against their policy. believe me they will refuse to pay if it some thing major. they can raise you premiums when they want to. i am a disabled veteran that can not get the help i need from the veterans hospitial. and my disability check is only $752.00 a month. try living on that and pay doctor bills.

    September 28, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. My 2 cents

    @Wakeup – "Public option is garbage. Everyone needs to support themselves. If you are disabled, then fed govt. can help you...."

    YOU ARE MISINFORMED. I am a 53 year old disabled rare cancer patient. Until last year, I had worked hard and paid taxes all of my life – then I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and required extensive surgery. 2 days after I returned home from the hospital, I lost my job and health insurance.

    Those who are deemed eligible for social security disability are, indeed, eligible for Medicare. HOWEVER, they must wait a total of 29 months (mandatory 5 months for disability + 24 months for Medicare waiting period) before Medicare covers them. In the meantime, over a million disabled Americans are stuck in limbo. Many of them have no choice but to apply for Medicaid (State & Federal program). My only income (or asset) is $1,500/month disability (which I paid into all of my life). In order for Medicaid to cover me, I must pay a "spend-down" (share of cost) of $5,200 per 6 month period. THIS MEANS THAT I MUST PAY NEARLY $900/mo. OR OVER 50% OF MY INCOME FOR HEALTH COVERAGE.

    Research the information – you're probably not hearing anything about this. WE NEED A STRONG PUBLIC OPTION!!!

    September 28, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. Sue

    If there was a Public option, businesses would quit providing health insurance in favor of the less expensive, less quality public option plan. More people would be forced into the government run program. Government can't run anything efficiently, why would you want them ruining your health care? It is a matter of Life and Death.

    September 28, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Ryan, Council Bluffs

    Baucus knows the liberal leftists will not get a bill passed in the Senate. He knows a public option won't fly, so he is trying to finf middle ground.

    September 28, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Where were some of you when Bush was saying that he had created thousands of jobs (when in fact he allowed all manufacturing to be outsourced to foreign countries) and he only generated "McDonald' wages jobs? You probably still think that there were weapons of mass destruction.

    September 28, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Terri

    You Americans are unbelievable. You gripe and whine that people should pay for their own healthcare, but yet you sit back and expect your employer to share the bill for your coverage.

    Are you that foolish to think there is a difference between letting your gov't pay or letting your employer pay??

    If you really want to be responsible for yourselves, get rid of employee coverage altogether and actually pay for your own bills. I'll bet the public option wouldn't look so bad then, would it?

    Happily covered by public health care in Canada.

    September 28, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. Michele

    So Rick, the guy laid off from GM, or the teachers laid off in Michigan, should do what exactly? By your process, they should just go somewhere and die, so that the taxpayers don't have to help them at all. Sounds like a death panel to me...if the unemployed and self-employed COULD buy reasonably priced insurance, they would be happy to. My voice teacher's premiums just went up $200 a month...she is single and healthy, and pays
    nearly $500/month for the privilege of then co-paying her physician visits and scrips. So where does the rest of the money go? Into the insurance co. coffers as profits, which they then pay their execs, not into some fund that pays for the uninsured. We NEED a single payer, cheap system, and it can work. And it is not is promoting "the general welfare"
    just like the Constitution guarantees.

    September 28, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Dave

    The level of ignorance astonishes me in this debate. I can almost see Karl Rove hiding behind the curtain watching this all unfold... Anyone remember swift boat? Gay marriage? All just distractions to take away from the core principal of reform. Healthcare Reform WILL help all of us, it will not raise taxes, there are no death panels, illegals will not be covered (any more than they are now) and we will all be paying less in the long run.

    It is odd how acceptable it is to people that the insurance companies are deciding our fates every day based on profits and doctors are making decisions based on profits. No one seems to care that another 37 million insured people are actually ineligible for the insurance they pay for!

    Why are we arguing the things that are 100% false about the reforms still instead of focusing on the people this reform will help? This is a move right out of the Rove playbook.... Distraction.....

    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    September 28, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. Independent in NYC

    Baucus is from Montana, the number he is dealing with are way over his head and the man needs aid, assisstance and guidedance in the worst way. Thank God the reform bill doesn't rest on his shoulders.

    September 28, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Doug, New Jersey

    All clear thinking Americans are against Obama's government take over of our health care. All he has left are the lib loons who would sacrifce their children if Obama ordered them to.

    We know how things are run in Chicago-land. Blago-Obama libs in charge of our health care would be beyond a disaster. Yeah, insurance lobbyists are wasting money now, but this is a drop in the bucket compared to the waste of money that the coming corruption of Chicago-land cronies if we had socialized medicine, which libs like to call a public option. If you thought it seemed cool to stand in those bread lines for 10 hours in the USSR then by all means contiue to support what would be the same outcome for Americans waiting outside of hospitals and doctors offices. You will get the crumb, and the Chicago-land lib cronies and their fellow theifs will be getting the filled bread baskets.

    September 28, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Susan in Sunnyvale, CA

    There will never be consensus on this. The party in power has to do what it thinks is best for the country. The GOP thought it was best for the rich folks to get richer and the poor folks to die serving them.
    Now it's the Dem's turn.
    Forget the opposition. They opposed freeing the slaves. They opposed equal rights. They opposed women voting. Forget them and do wht's right.

    September 28, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. John

    So let me get this straight, obama and his left wing party want to take money away from senior citizens, over $500 billion, through their medicare and give it inner city people through subsidies public option(free healthcare). It is a fact that the highest number of emergency room visits come from inner city african americans who don't work or pay taxes, so they put nothing into the system and obama wants them to get the most out of the system, via free health care. When the people who have paid the most into the system, senior citizens, get their health care reduced, rationed, or taken away to give to inner city african americans who don't work or pay taxes. When is this nightmare going to end.

    September 28, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. rr

    Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will bankrupt this nation nicely without adding a public option, thank you very much!

    September 28, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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