Montana Politics

Senator Baucus Stands for Women’s Health Care

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While Senate Republicans are blocking progress on the critical highway bill to continue their war on women in the form of the Blunt Amendment, Senator Baucus stood firm for health care coverage that impacts 62,000 Montana women. Speaking against the Amendment, Baucus said:

“The current policy preserves the integrity of a woman’s right to access health care services while also protecting the legitimate religious liberties that so many Americans – myself included – value.  However, the Blunt Amendment would allow any company to deny health care options to deny access to any service for any moral objection.  In Montana we’re very proud to have sent the first woman to Congress in 1916 – Jeanette Rankin. We have a strong tradition of respecting women and supporting women’s health. When we support women’s health, we are supporting healthy communities that can be strong for our kids and grandkids.”

Another version of his direct remarks to the Senate is available on YouTube:

Republicans have simply gone too far. In their efforts to demonize Planned Parenthood, family planning, and personal autonomy for women, they’ve turned their sights on basic access to care—under the guise of religious freedom, a freedom which seems only to extend to their right to impose their religious views on others.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

25 Comments

  • So spaketh the man who killed the public option and arrested single payer advocates. How many people have died for lack of care since we got reformed? It does not take much to earn your devotion, Don. Me – I think I know Max pretty well, so sweet talk doesn't work. I want deeds. I'm not easy.

    • "So spaketh the man who killed the public option"

      Also sprach der Mann mit geld, nicht die Frau ohne geld, die nict mochtete kinder.

      Mark, just tell me – whose the man or woman who is going to be a true liberal, and get elected in Montana? I'm no fan of Baucus' policies, and I'd happily vote for a different primary candidate if there was one available. That said, this vote was important, and when we have almost all the Republicans voting against making contraception available, and it's clear that there's a difference not only in preference, but in rationality between the parties.

      And most tellingly, you're a man, rich enough to buy an iPad. Obviously it makes no difference to you whether employers are required to cover contraception or not. You are in a position of privilege and comfort, taking pot shots at imperfect politicians who are nonetheless voting in ways that protect the most vulnerable among us.

      • This idea that a person cannot advocate for popular public programs like Medicare, Social Security and the public option and get elected is pablum put out by the Democratic Party because they have the same financiers as the other party. It is the money that holds them back and not the public. The public option was extremely popular. Your boys screwed us. Your debacle in 2010 was due to your voters not showing up because you gave us no reason. Your people are far to the right of public opinion and afraid to show up for us. Why should we show up for you?

        I mean, why support you if you are so afraid to lead! Take ownership of issues! that's all that cost Gore the job – fear of taking ownership – the Green Party had ten issues – if Gore taken ownership on even one of them, the wimp might have won. Good god you are pathetic!

        • "The public option was extremely popular."

          Polled under a majority in Montana, and was linked to a president also unpopular in Montana.

          "Your people are far to the right of public opinion and afraid to show up for us. "

          Two things here – first of all, we've discussed how the Senate and Electoral college are both slanted to emphasize conservative opinions (and who appoints and approves the Supreme Court?) Secondly, far to the right? Of this?
          http://thehill.com/polls/212643-hill-poll-likely-

          • My browser won't go to that link – slow morning. Later, but the title looks like a push poll. Every poll I saw on the public option showed it to be wildly popullar. The slut Obama even ran on it, later claiming he did not. But that does not matter. You are telling me that your party gives us followers and not leaders, men and women who do not take chances. Yay! That is so pathetic, so weak, that it makes me nauseous.

            The Investment Theory of Politics ( Ferguson of UMass) predicts that money determines the outcome of races, but more importantly, issues, and says that those who do not finance races not only do not get what they want, but usually get the opposite of what they want. That certainly held true in the health care debate.

            • "Every poll I saw on the public option showed it to be wildly popullar."

              Link one poll showing it to be wildly popular in Montana. Acquiescence to the will of your constituents is not a failure in leadership, it respect for the Republican form of government.

      • And your being envious of our having an iPad … My wife and I planned to buy one, waited a year after it came out so that the inevitable bugs would be worked out, went halvsies, just like all rich people do. We’re thinking now of a Kindle Fire, but give us a year.

  • Oh, nice one. Voting for the Bush tax cuts, every war-funding bill, prescription drug bill, and Baucus- care, Baucus can talk all he wants. Social Security and Medicare cuts are on the way because money is now tight. Wonder why? How many wives? Office affairs, before kicking the stray to the curb? He's a real ladies' man all right.

      • It used to be said that truth has a liberal bias. Now it has a tiresome tone. Ladybug, any way to spice this up so it is more entertaining to our arch-Democrat? Don't want him to be bored!

        But get this – Baucus, stuttering, inept and insincere, is not tiresome!

  • Close vote, 51-48. Only one R vote to table this repulsive amendment — known as the Blunt amendment. Guess who? (Olympia Snowe.) Three Ds voted not to table, two of them Roman Catholic: Manchin-WV and Casey-PA (Casey was the guy who beat Santorum last time around). The third was Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, a Methodist. I know the Democrats are wringing their hands over Nelson's decision not to run again but I won't miss him a bit. With Democrats like him …

      • I realize that it will be hard to get a Democrat elected to that seat in Nebraska, Larry, but the way Nelson voted it shouldn't, a Republican in that seat won't make that much of a difference.

    • Pete Talbot:

      "I know the Democrats are wringing their hands over Nelson's decision not to run again but I won't miss him a bit."

      Really, Pete? I have yet to read of a single Democrat "wringing their hands" over Nelson's departure. There are those concerned about losing the Senate to the Republicans, and well they should be. Your spin on the topic looks more than just a little "made up".

      • You're confusing me here, Rob. What Have I "made up?" I'm using the term "Democrats" collectively and they are quite concerned about losing this seat, you said so yourself. There may be no individual Democrats "wringing their hands" but we can't really even be sure of that. Since Bob Kerrey has decided not to run, I'll bet there's a fair amount of hand wringing going on in the Cornhusker State and at the DNC, too. What makes you think there isn't?

        • "Made up" is a very direct way to say the same as the word 'disingenuous'. Pete, many if not most Democrats 'won't miss Nelson a bit', just as you said. However, there is a significant difference between losing a RINO and losing a seat to a modern Republicant. That is what is being lamented, not Nelson's choice. To claim a wringing of hands over his decision is claiming something that simply isn't true.

          And for the record, Bob Kerrey is apparently running for the seat. If you're still willing to make that bet about "hand-wringing", then I'm all in.

          • Looks like Kerrey did an about face. I stand corrected.

            And we're arguing semantics here, Rob. I used the word "Democrats," as in the Democratic Party. The party was wringing its hands over Nelson's decision because the seat might be lost to a Republican and a majority might be lost in the Senate. Is that better?

            By the way, Kurtz' link (above) makes for interesting reading. Thanks, Larry. What's being discussed has also been written about lately and often in the blogosphere: "moderates" in congress.

            • Unfortunately, in our current climate, framing is everything, and semantics can mean a great deal when it comes time to vote.

      • You're confusing me here, Rob. What Have I "made up?" I'm using the term "Democrats" collectively and they are quite concerned about losing this seat, you said so yourself. There may be no individual Democrats "wringing their hands" but we can't really even be sure of that. Since Bob Kerrey has decided not to run, I'll bet there's a fair amount of hand wringing going on in the Cornhusker State and at the DNC, too. What makes you think there isn't?

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