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. Anthony

    Through my wifes employer our insurance will go up an additional $75 per month. We need a public option. Since the employer automatically takes it out of your account most people don’t pay any attention to how much they are paying. The politicians who speak out against public option are the person who lacks patriotism.

    September 28, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Dave

    One last point....

    In these comments I see a repetitive theme of people claiming they make a meager living and don't want to pay for others.... If you truly are making a "meager" living then chances are less than 0.5% of your income goes to social programs. Hence the refund you get on your taxes every year. If you make over $60,000 then it is more like 5%.

    Almost 4 times that is spent on failed and abandoned defense programs every year..... Which would you rather pay for?

    September 28, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Chuck, Tennessee

    Well, it looks as if the Repubs are not the only ones to eat their own kind

    September 28, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Chip

    Simple fix, expand MediCare eligibility to all Americans. The infrastructure is in place, the tax collection method is already in place. The network and billing apparatus is already being used by doctors nationwide. The government currently handles about 60% of the nation's healthcare in one manner or another, VA, Medicare, MedicAid, etc. Private insurance could continue operating as a supplement or a primary insurer for those that choose not to opt in to an expanded Medicare program. Then, with all of the efficiencies the administration and Congress say could save money and be realized, it should be easy to streamline it. Just a couple of thoughts from a redneck right wing nut. But, I think most would agree with me.

    Have a nice day.

    September 28, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. RobK

    I think food is too expensive. I want the government to start farming to provide needed competition to bring food prices down. I want the government to compete with computer makers so my new laptop won't cost so much. I want the government to get into the car business to bring car prices down. Oh wait, they are already in the car business.

    September 28, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Jay T.

    Dems! We know you tried to get the Republicans to help. They are not interested in any form of health care reform. Just draft a good bill and vote it in and move on. Forget about the Republicans.

    September 28, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. The Court Jester

    OK, correct me please if I'm wrong but isn't the difference between a "so called public option" and a "co-op" who manages it? The problem I have with the "so called public option" is that it is government managed, hence the disgust and distrust because the government has a bettable track record against doing anything right, including managing taxpayer provided revenue. The "co-op" approach is non-profit and funded by the users, much like the "so called public option" but managed by entities whose jobs depend on making it work for patrons or they get fired or the patrons leave to competition and they go out of business. So it's government controlled/mandated and IRS enforced, or competitive co-op based on free market competition. I choose the co-op. I don't need or want our government behind more corrupt ways of mishandling my taxes, or empowering the IRS as an enfprcement agency. Wake up morons.

    September 28, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. vick

    we need health care reform but we dont need to force people to buy health care!!!!!! if we force health care on American poeple than we need public option because i am not making any healh insurance rich and i will not buy it!!!

    September 28, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. *Rick

    Rick, how can you make a blanket statement like that? There are too many people with their hands out? Do you only care about yourself? Don't you think that people, in the greatest country of them all, should have an unwavering right to gain access to health care when they are sick? I am single, and happy to have a job, I live frugally, and I still have trouble making ends meet. I can only imagine what its like for families that are trying to make ends meet and take care of their kids.

    September 28, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Nea

    To me it dont matter who supports what, bypartisan or not its what works, if the public option is what will work then lets get busy with that.We are tired of people that are afraid of change if it was not for change we will not be where we are today. I support President Obama wholeheartely and i believe he is the one that can get us where we need to be, people can say this is not the change we need but Excuse Me! this is exactly the change we need, it starts from the bottom up not the top down. Thank GOD for President Obama!

    September 28, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. Greg

    As a dual citizen (Canada and US), I've experience both healthcare systems of both countries first hand. Though I currently have great coverage through my work here in the US, I would trade it in a heartbeat for government managed, single payer healthcare. People all over the rest of the developed world look at opponents to health reform in the US and just shake their heads in disbelief. Let me tell all of you first Canada I had my choice of doctors, NO ONE came between me and my doctor (certainly not insurance companies), and I NEVER had to wait for care. More importantly, I NEVER had to think about money when thinking about my health...they were never in the same equation.

    September 28, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. alive because of insurance

    Three years ago, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma but was lucky enough to only have to undergo 5 months of chemotherapy and 3 weeks of radiation. Over the course of my treatment, I accumalated just under $200,000 of medical bills. Fortunately I had health insurance and my family didn't have to lose basically everything we had so I could beat cancer. But what about those who are not as fortunate?
    The fact that people are dying everyday, here, in the United States, of treatable illnesses because they cannot afford or qualify for healthcare is sickening and we should be appalled.
    The fact that people will not support a public option because "they refuse to pay for others health insurance" really shows what direction our nation is heading.

    September 28, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. Tom Paine

    The problem is quite evident but no one wants to discuss it. We have a Congress....both House and Senate where the majority of members have been taking bribes from the health care industry for years. Now the health care folks want their pound of flesh for the money. Guess who will lose in this "debate"? won't be the members of Congress or the health care industry.

    As long as we allow a "Bribe-ocracy" th flourish in Washington...we'll see no change.

    September 28, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. suzyku

    I happily contributed to getting this ad aired! I also sent Bauccus an email suggesting that he is no friend of the majority of people in this country that desperately need health care that is affordable and that he should resign!

    September 28, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. KAREN

    Maybe the majority of you can afford higher taxes, maybe you don't think that the cost of malpractice insurance is directly related to increase in medical fees. That we will wait on lines there will be rationing. Just think when you go to a specialist now how long it takes for an appointment let alone the emergency room. The CBO has scored this bill at nearly 1 Trillion dollars and thats before all the amendments that have yet to be added. And yes there will be pork in the HC bill. So add that on. Medicare Advantage for Seniors will be gutted. These are facts this is not some right wing conspiracy. If u notice Obama says you will be able to keep the same coverage u have now, He doesn't say you will be able to keep the same insurance company. We should have Healthcare Reform, just not on the back of Small business and the middle Class.

    September 28, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Wise Latina

    What member of today's state-run media will have the cajonnes to ask our messiah and salvation, the Great "O"ne, the real question that must be investigated: Did Obama and the Dems lie when saying that there would be no access to government healthcare programs by ILLEGAL aliens? Was Joe Wilson exactly correct – or not??

    September 28, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Bob in Pa

    With all the money blown on fighting to get HCR all these liberal groups could have easily gotten those most in need some sort of coverage don't you think ? I mean they must care so deeply !

    September 28, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. dwmulenex

    a case against health care reform can be made by some of the people some of the time who can be fooled all of the time. Once you accept that the system is broken from medicaid to the private cadillac plans, there's a choice: leave it as it is, a health care that penalizes the poor and the sick with needeless suffereing and early death, or fox it. If hyou fix it, you can't turn over 16 percent of your income to the heartless and greedy companies that are causing the problem to make money. Nor do you want medicaid for all. So you try the middle: a self sustaining but non profit public option that won't cover everyone, but won't allow recissions or exclusions because of existing health. The Baucus bill fails because he wants by law to transfer income to private companies without improving health care.

    September 28, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. Sam Sixpack

    And just how will the public option make a pharmaceutical company, who currently charges $15,000 bag of special IV fluid, charge any less?

    This healthcare "reform" scam is about who gets to keep your money – and it won't be you.

    September 28, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. JonDie

    Are these "liberal Democrats" really trying to convince us that they are STUPIDER than the stupidest Republican? Because they are succeeding and they are doing more to hurt the Democratic Party than any Republican.

    September 28, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Peter

    Baucus writting the rhealth reforms proposals is like Judas Iscariot kissing Jesus Christ. All a man can betray is his conscience!!

    September 28, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Sean

    I've waited a while, listening to all perspectives to decide what sounds most logical to me, and I have to say that I agree. Ultimately, I don't see how we can effectively manage to keep insurance costs down without influencing them through the direct competition of a public option. It wouldn't mean a "government takeover of health care", and it wouldn't mean a bureaucrat would be approving your treatments despite the lies being spread to the contrary, but it would mitigate private insurance company greed by forcing them to keep costs down as much as possible in order to compete.

    We need a public option.

    September 28, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Peter

    Healthcare reforms from Baucus? Its like the Judas kiss, All a man can betray is his conscience are you with me Mr. Baucus or with my greedy neighbor?

    September 28, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Sam in Albuquerque

    A mandate to have insurance with no public option is worse than no reform at all. Perhaps the Blue Dogs are really Red Elephants in disguise.

    September 28, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. EHI

    Party of "NO"? do realize that the Dems don't need the republican votes to pass any bill, they just can't agree on anything amongst themselves. It doesn't matter what the Republicans say, the "Party of NO" is just a concoction of the liberals to try and deflect attention away from their own inability to get things done. With the democrats in control of congress we are now seeing their true colors and unfortunately they are going to drag the rest of the country down with them.

    September 28, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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