I happened to catch an excellent interview of Senator Baucus by a Montana Public Radio reporter as I was driving through another late afternoon hailstorm. Once again, Senator Baucus demonstrated the kind of courage that has come to characterize his efforts to “lead” health care reform: none at all.
In the interview, Baucus echoed comments made by Senator Grassley (imagine that!) earlier today, in which the Senator tried to make Sarah Palin credible. Both Baucus and Grassley not only insisted their bill would not have end of life counseling, but impugned the integrity of the the members of the House, suggesting their proposals would be very dangerous. You know, because having Medicare offer to reimburse counseling for patients facing difficult decisions about Living Wills would inevitably lead to patients being made into Soylent Green.
Instead of acting like a responsible leader and making it clear that government reform will never lead to euthanasia of the elderly and sick, Senator Baucus chose to play by the right wing script again. It’s one thing to ignore their shameless propaganda and dishonesty, but it’s beyond the pale for Senator Baucus to respond as if they are legitimate policy concerns.
Perhaps Senator Baucus should deign to release some of the details of his proposal, rather than giving credence to the insane ramblings of a power-crazed mad-woman.
Perhaps Senator Baucus should work with the Democrats and President who overwhelmingly won the election in November to craft a bill for the American people, instead of endorsing the infantile fantasies of tea baggers and Chuck Grassley.
Somehow, I suspect the cheerleader for the Bush tax cuts and the bankruptcy bill won’t do either of those things—to the detriment of real health care reform.
Update (in which my confusion grows):
Baucus, in the Great Falls Tribune:
The bill will contain no "death panels" or cost-benefit analysis, Baucus said.
"It’s total baloney," he said. "It’s scare tactics."
That might have been a good answer to give the MPR reporter. Maybe he hadn’t cleared a response with Senator Grassley first.
Baucus also told the Tribune:
"There’s no bill yet — because I haven’t written it," Baucus said. "There’s just a lot of … stuff out there. Health reform is not dead or dying — there’s just a lot of misinformation out there."
Self-aggrandizing and dense.