Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 26, 2009


Single Payer News - Montana Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has said that in writing his new healthcare legislation "everything is on the table" except single payer

After Baucus ruled single payer "off the table" in his search for an "American" solution to the healthcare crisis, Montana's newspapers have carried several articles calling for Senator Baucus to put single payer back on the table.

Writing in "The Great Falls Tribune" under the headline "Tell Sen. Baucus Single-payer Should Be On the Table," Gene Fenderson, who served for twenty-five years as a union trustee of a Taft-Hartley joint healthcare fund, wrote: "I maintain that a single-payer system must be on the table because it can help save our present and future economic well being as a state and nation." Fenderson criticized the Baucus plan directly saying: "Unfortunately, the Baucus plan simply adds even more layers of confusion to this hodgepodge, which is already driving costs up and up for all Americans. We can do better. We must do better. That is why a single-payer system must be on the table."

A second article, in the Helena Independent Record, reported on results of meetings held throughout Montana at the urging of President Obama's healthcare transition team. The meetings were to report to the transition team what ordinary citizens think about healthcare reform.

"The consensus of (our group) was that we did not see a lot of change coming unless we went to a single-payer, universal health system,'' said Deborah Hanson of Miles City, who organized a meeting of local citizens at the behest of Obama's transition team. "That was sort of a general consensus - knowing, of course, that may not happen.''

"The Miles City meeting, held Dec. 21 at Hanson's home, was one of several in Montana and thousands held across the nation during the last two weeks of December."

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Senator Baucus was attending a lavish pre-inaugural ball at a posh nightclub where he told Brian Ross of ABC News that "lobbyists just want what's best for America." Baucus also had praise for the drug, insurance and other lobbyists who paid for the party, saying: "They really care about our country."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems to me the entire Senate has done a mighty good job of killing single payer for a loong time.

January 27, 2009 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to think that to become a member of the house or senate, or the president, one should be required to live for 6 months working a minimum wage dead end job, with no additional money, support, or job benefits, as part of the election process. Just so they understand what it is like to live under the sort of policies they enact, and they must blog about it. I'd love to read the blogs of some of these spoiled rich fat cats stuck living like the rest of us do.

January 27, 2009 1:28 PM  

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