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. LLM in MD

    We need a public option...I am paying out the WAZOO!!! per month and the insurance company still want more money for prescriptions, specialty dr. visits, well-checkup visits, sick visits, ER visits, HEALTH CARE IS A JOK AND NEEDS TO BE FIXED NOW!!!!!!

    September 28, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. William Alford Perry

    The employer-based health insurance system in the United States currently is an exploitative, dysfunction and un-American type of health care system. The system employs the doctrines and methods of fascism. In recent years the amount of coverage has eroded dramatically, and the individual now has to bear the burden of the astronomical costs and inadequate care. The premiums have gone up and the coverage down. This is one of the reasons why the employer-based health insurance system should be eliminated and either replaced with a system that has a public option along side the employer-based system, or in the alternative a single payer system. Starting in the year 2000 there has been a steadily decline in coverage which is the primary reason for overall increase in the number of Americans uninsured which is approaching 50 million today. This is not even counting the millions who are uninsured.

    September 28, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Julia - Native American from Idaho

    Just one more comment, Fed X and UPS are not out business because of the Services Provided by the United States Postal Service. More good Socialism any way you look at it. Any one that thinks health care is not a right and is a priviledge reserved for the politicians and wealthy is not a Christian. Jesus preached healing, helpling others. Where in the Bible do you see that Jesus sent the Leper a bill for his healing.

    September 28, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Newsfalsh: we already have socialized health care! It's called Medicare! All those angry seniors at townhalls are complete hypocrites. They are on tax paid, government run health care because private insurers won't cover them at all. (being senior is a serious pre-existing condition) Without socialized health care they would already have been dead or certainly bankrupt by now! What hypocrites! And now republicans criticize socialized, tax paid health care WHILE demanding that Medicare be expanded, as if somehow that's different! Hypocrisy alert again!

    September 28, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. William Alford Perry

    The employer-based health insurance system uses the doctrines and methods of Fascism. The insurance companies are dictatorial and an industry that has absolute control and power over individuals in the distribution and terms of health insurance. And they seek to hang on to this power and control by promoting and conducting this asinine employer-based insurance system at the expense and detriment of the insured, under insured and uninsured. There is not any competition, fairness or democracy within the current employer-based health insurance system. The employer-based health insurance system has many flaws other than Fascism, high administration cost, inequitable sharing of costs, inability to cover large segments of the population, contribution to labor-management strife, and the inability of employers to act collectively to make health care more cost effective. The employer-based insurance system must be reform as President Obama has laid out in his health care reform proposal. The Congress must act on this NOW!

    September 28, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Jeff in Virginia

    Max Baucus: owned an operated by the insurance companies.

    September 28, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Retired US Army Officer-Kansas

    Just looked at my new private insurance program through my private employer, boy I am excited, I remain in control of my medical care, that is as long as I use the genertic drugs that they tell me I can use, I go to the doctor they tell me I can go to, I obtain the treatment that they tell me is within the scope of my plan (which by the way is actual good), To help me in my decisions they are going to triple my deductible, and increase my coinsurnce by 20%, all this with only a 7.5% increase in premium to make up for the negative salary increase this past year. So happy private insurers do it better, what a joke.

    September 28, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Freedom

    In missouri I can't buy the cheaper insurance in Illinios why? As far as I can tell the GOP has been trying to pass a bill by letting me go across state lines to buy insurance. The DEMS are the ones stoping this. The insurance needs more competition ,but why have the DEMS been preventing this? Now they want a public option they said it would create competition. Sure it would , but why did they stop the other forms of competition. BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS WANTED THE PUBLIC OPTION TO PUT THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY OUT.

    September 28, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Grrr-awful-o

    Baucus is actually part of the VRWC (vast right wing conspiracy) that former president Clinton and current secretary of state Clinton are so fearful of. But have no fear! President Gelding will save the day and redistribute the wealth for one and all!

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

    The Baucus Bill is very poor – and it should be even be considered.
    A much better Bill can be written if they follow the guidelines President Obama put forth.

    September 28, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. William Alford Perry

    President Obama’s health care reform will save us from socialism. Concerns that the President’s reform proposal would create big government, denial of “customer choice” and “socialism” is interesting. We currently live with restrictions on choice, imposed by “for-profit” health insurance companies through approved provider listings in/out network provisions, denials for pre-existing conditions and exclusions of certain treatments for the growing population which is unable to afford private insurance, the choice and the choice of their children is often restricted to an emergency room with zero provider options, or no health care at all. On the other hand provider choice is wide open under President Obama’s reform plan. All Americans have an inherent right to health care.

    September 28, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. Reggie

    Baucus is from Montana, where voters (as in most the nation) DO NOT WANT A PUBLIC OPTION. Enuff said!!!

    September 28, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Matt

    By reading these comments I am, quite frankly, embarrased to be an American. One hundred years ago, immigrants came to this nation because it was "the land of OPPORTUNITY", not because it was the nation of handouts. They new then that you must build yourself. The positive aspect of capitalism is that no one is holding you back. Health care is not a right. Health care is a privelidge for those who can pay for it. The intelligent people who work hard to make money to make sure they can afford their health insurance each month should not be punished by those who thought otherwise. Most of those without health insurance are young adults who can afford it, but have chosen not to. That is their decision! But now you all seem to want to take my paycheck to pay for something they could have afforded, but chose to spend their money on an iPhone or cable TV. We have flipped the bill long enough. Stop taking money for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. I am 24 and these systems will be bankrupt when I am old enough for them. That is my money that is being taken from me and thrown away. I will never get it back. For those of you who believe health care is a right, how does plunder and theft fit into your moral high-ground?

    September 28, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. "Julian Zelizer"

    See! I told you! The Democrats are ON THE VERGE OF DISBANDING! It's anarchy! Earthquakes! Fire! Dogs and cats living together out of wedlock! Now, with the world reduced to rubble and the sky weeping, we Republicans can emerge from (an undisclosed location) and force the survivors to their knees and- Oh, it's not that bad yet? Maybe next week? I'll just write another column about how the liberals are turning on each other for CNN to publish while I wait.

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

    “Socialism” is any of a various theories or systems in which the means of producing and distributing goods are owned and operated by society, rather than by private individuals, with all members of society sharing in the work and the products. The President’s reform plan would leave all providers, doctors, labs, clinics, many hospitals, pharmaceuticals—private and could, as Medicare does now, contract out many of its administrative functions to private companies. One might well come to the conclusion that preservation of choice and salvation from “Socialism” rest with the President’s reforms. But then, rigid ideology and deeply engrained political predispositions often filter information.

    September 28, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Chris - Denver

    If we don't have a public option, we don't have health care reform.

    September 28, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. Kate in San Diego

    I wish we didn't have to fight among ourselves this way. We should at least be able to be civil to each other even if the republicans seem to believe that rude, disrespectful people deserve badges of honor.

    September 28, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Kentucky

    I don't blame them. that bill he came up with benefited the insurance industry. Now Rockerfellor and Shumer had to go in and clean it up. Shame on you, Baucus!

    September 28, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Get Off Our Backs

    The Republicans will always be in power as long as there are Democrats who will help them, even when they are a minority.

    Democrats don't deserve to be in leadership. The president is doing all he can to move this country along and the dead weight of deadbeat Dems should be thrown overboard. Period.

    I guess the saying is true:
    Dems fall in love (not in this case)
    Repugs fall in line

    September 28, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. William Alford Perry

    Health care is a right that has been acknowledge and adopted by the United States in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nation in the year 1949 with the urging and support of the United States. The Declaration proclaimed that: “ everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one’s family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care” which reflects the truths of our nation’s founding documents such as the Preamble of the United States Constitution, and in the Bill of Rights, Amendment 1X: “ The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” And further Amendment X: “ The powers not delegated to the United States Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Health care is not only a proclaimed but an inherent right that is born out of compassion and love for the sake of humanity.

    September 28, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. Juge

    Public Option is the only thing that makes sense and gives us the chance we need to get the health insurance that the FOR PROFIT health insurance companies are determined to deny us.

    September 28, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |

    We need a public option. Folks get rid of these BLUE DOG DEMS, they are REPUBLICANS posing as Dems. They are too comfortable, in it for the money not for the people they are to serve. Get rid of the old die hards, get some young blood with some new thoughts and ideas. Most of the old Repugs and old Dems are bought and paid for.


    This is what I have observed and I'm one year shy of 80.

    September 28, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. William Alford Perry

    The self-correcting economy can not be affective if the major players in the economy are crooks, thieves, con-artists, and criminals, a true free market system must have restraints on those who exploit the system to benefit only themselves, and government regulation is the only way to accomplish this. It seems all the Nay Sayers want to do is vilify our government and saying that people should not trust our government. Isn’t it strange that families put their trust in the government when they send their sons and daughters off to war to die for their country, but shouldn’t trust government with their health insurance? Something is very wrong with this.

    September 28, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Kate in San Diego

    My exhusband is alive now because of the VA. At that time, years ago, I had him on my private insurance i had through my job, and they did very little to help him. We stayed married for years opnly so he could keep having medical insurance that was really doing very little for him. When we divorced, I was able to obtain treatment through the VA that was far better than what my private insurance provided. I have no doubt he would be dead now ifnot for the VA, who never gave up on him despite his problems maintaining his own medical regimen.

    September 28, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. If the insurance companies win, YOU LOSE

    I have made contributions to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and to Rob Miller of South Carolina for Congress.

    But, because of senators like Max Baucus, I reduced the amount I sent to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

    Instead, sent the money to *Health Care for America NOW!* and to ActBlue's ad calling on Sen Lincoln and Rep Ross of Arkansas to stop doing the bidding of the insurance industry.

    After decades of letting private sector interests create huge problems in our health care system, we need real reform.


    September 28, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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