Great Falls Tribune

By John S. Adams, June 6, 2009

HELENA—Undeterred by Sen. Max Baucus’ steadfast refusal to inject single-payer into the congressional debate on health care reform, more than 100 proponents of a “Medicare-for-all” form of nationalized health insurance rallied for their cause on Friday.

Protesters in Helena, Great Falls, Missoula, Bozeman and Butte gathered at Baucus’ local field offices and demanded that Montana’s senior senator, and chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, put single-payer back on the table.

[. . .]

Dr. Carol Paris, a Maryland psychiatrist who was twice arrested last month for protesting single-payer’s exclusion from two Senate Finance Committee hearings, also appeared at Friday’s rally.

Paris, who was introduced as a “hero” of the single-payer movement for her acts of civil disobedience, said single-payer advocates need to “keep the heat on Sen. Baucus.”

“The next 60 days truly are critical,” Paris said. “We need to keep the momentum going here and in Washington.”

Paris said single-payer advocates have three demands of Baucus.

  • That he and Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., hold Senate hearings on the merits of single-payer health care.
  • That Baucus order the Congressional Budget Office to study the costs of implementing the Senate and House versions of single payer bills that have already been introduced.
  • That Baucus arrange a meeting between President Barack Obama and single-payer experts.
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