This is really kinda pitiful. Sen. Max Baucus is the chief negotiator of the developing health care bill. He has said he is open to all ideas except one. Single payer. Because Congress would never pass it. Because the private health care interests would never stand for it. So he didn’t include any single-payer advocates in any of the discussion of what should be in the bill.
Now he would like single-payer advocates to stop complaining, so he gives them a meeting, tells them he will try to prevent the criminal prosecution of single-payer advocates who tried to crash previous meetings, acknowledges that he should have included them, but tells them that it’s too late to include them now.
Just for the record, the Canadian single-payer system covers everyone, costs much less than the U.S. system and Canadians have longer life expectancies than Americans. And there are polls suggesting that the U.S. public — not the private, for-profit health care sector, just the population — is open to single payer.
I know that it’s more complicated and all that. But I’m having trouble believing that the Po9litico headline: Baucus soothes single-payer backers is completely accurate.
Methinks the leftier version of the meeting, by AfterDowningStreet.com, gets a little closer. Headline: Baucus Tells Single-Payer Advocates No.