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Backus Backs Single Payer?

Democratic Senator Max Backus is a hypocrite:

Back when he presided over the Senate’s health care reform debate, Max Baucus, chairman of the all-powerful Senate Finance Committee, had said everything was on the table — except for single-payer universal health care. When doctors, nurses, and others rose in his hearing to insist that single payer be included in the debate, the Montana Democrat had them arrested. As more stood up, Baucus could be heard on his open microphone saying, “We need more police.”

And yet, Backus himself instituted a single payer health insurance system for an entire county in his state of Montana. Why? To cover the ass of a mining company that has managed to evade responsibility for hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses caused by deadly airborne asbestos around a vermiculite mine near the town of Libby in Northwest Montana.

What’s really striking about this is that it was so simple. Backus merely extended Medicare to everyone affected by the asbestos, regardless of age, regardless of ability to pay (like Medicare it is free). And there is no gradual ten year rollout like with the current health care reform bill.

Backus, why can’t the rest of us have Medicare for all? Why did you keep it off the table?



  1. Max wrote:

    It’s a conflict between entitlements: the entitlement of the public to medical care and the entitlement of the insurance industry to profit from medical care.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 3:28 am | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    So if all had Medicare, it would be all right,is that what you are saying Max? I completely agree with you if I understand you.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 7:03 am | Permalink
  3. Dan wrote:

    Republicans always talk about cutting costs to business, well this is a big one. The CEOs of John Deere and ADM appeared on a PBS show and both stated they hoped for a one payer system, but were making plans that we wouldn’t got one.
    Saw Sen Cornyn on the News Hour last night, still singing the same old song about the rich being uncertain about the tax situation thus not creating jobs. He looked nervous, I think he knew we weren’t buying it anymore. Max is right, the financial sector rules this county. Welcome to the Plutocracy.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 7:10 am | Permalink
  4. starluna wrote:

    I love the NewsHour. We were listening to it last night at dinner and one of the journalists (I forget whom) asked some Congressmen to explain his opposition to tax revenue increases as part of the deficit package when polls show support for increasing taxes. He blundered through some lame excuse and at the end the journalist responds, ‘Thank you (so-and-so). We have heard you.’ It was as if she was saying, “You got your chance to explain yourself and you were not very convincing.” It was great.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 8:18 am | Permalink