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PNHP RESOURCES

Baucus didn’t lead any health care debate

Letter to the Editor, Independent Record (Helena, Mont.)
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Max Baucus really talked up his so-called health care “debate” for well over a year. The fact is there was no “debate.” Max’s health care bill was principally written by Liz Fowler, a Baucus staffer and former V.P. of WellPoint, one of the largest health insurance companies in America.

A major issue raised during Max’s Senate hearings on health care was the bogus claim that Medicare underpays physicians in comparison to private health insurers.  Here is a direct quote from a Chicago physician on that subject: “Private insurance companies may, on paper, pay physicians substantially more than Medicare, but this must be taken in the context that Medicare actually pays the rates it publishes and pays on time, (emphasis mine) while private insurance companies subject physicians to a maze of voluntary and involuntary discounts, denials, delays and underpayments that make calculations of what physicians actually get impossible.”

We were bilked by Baucus and his health insurance cronies. There was no health care debate. The cost of universal health care in other developed countries averages 10 percent of the GDP while we pay 17 percent and leave millions without coverage. Let Max try and explain that. Max acted as a shill for the health insurance industry. Do we really need his kind representing us in the Senate?

Bob Balhiser
Helena