Sen. Max Baucus
511 Hart Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-9412 fax
Millions of Americans, particularly seniors and their advocates, were horrified in the late months of 2003 to see how the Bush administration forced through a Medicare Modernization Act that deprived seniors of a real drug plan, gave billions of profits to private drug companies, and set up a direct competition-premium subsidy plan that threatened the financial stability of the entire Medicare Plan. Democrats were run over rough-shod in committee meetings, and finally barred from even attending House-Senate Conference Committee meetings. It was one of the most disgraceful periods in American healthcare policy history, which I never thought I would see again.
But your exclusion of single-payer advocates, barring even your own colleagues in the House, has surpassed the Bush legacy, and probably with more far-reaching effects. How many more have to be arrested before you and your committee are willing to discus the healthcare reform that a majority of US residents and doctors favor? How long can you shut your eyes to the failure of private insurance-based healthcare reform in Massachusetts? How can you claim to be less corrupt than your Republican predecessors in protecting the profits of the insurance and drug companies that contribute to you and your colleagues? And how can you ignore the eighteen thousand who die every year from lack of adequate healthcare coverage.
Your exclusion of single-payer from the health reform discussion will be remembered in the same light as the night of the twisted arms when the Medicare Modernization Act was forced through Congress.
128 Faith St.
San Francisco CA 94110