I used to kinda like Sen. Max Baucus. During the Bush2 administration, he was one of the best we could go to when we needed to make the Republicans’ legislation less draconian. Now that he is the pivotal leader for health reform, however, he’s acting like the Republicans are still in control. As you can read here and here, he obsessively dumbs down what should be the Democrats’ signature legislation.
Thanks to Credo, sponsored by Working Assets, here is a link to a petition you can sign to urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to keep pressing for a public option in the health reform plan despite the Baucus bill. More explanation below:
Next week, the Senate Finance Committee is expected to start debating and voting on its health care reform bill. Of the five Congressional committees writing health care bills, this will be the only one not to include provisions for a public health insurance option.
We can’t sit back and let the Senate Finance Committee kill the public option. That is why Open Left is joining with CREDO Action to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make sure a public option is included when the bill goes to the floor of the Senate.
The next step in the process is for the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate HELP Committee — which passed a public option under the late Ted Kennedy — to combine their bills into a single piece of legislation. This merging is largely determined by the Senate leadership, and so it is important that the Senate leadership hear from us.
Senator Max Baucus, the Finance Committee chair, has tried to justify his bill by claiming there are not enough votes to pass a public option. However, Senate experts say the public option can pass with 51 votes, and none of the 58 Senators elected as Democrats have categorically stated their opposition.
We have the votes to pass a public option in health care reform. We have to make sure the public option is not abandoned before a Senate vote even takes place.
Join us in demanding that Senator Reid keep the public option alive when the bills from the Senate Finance and Senate Health committees are merged!