Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

02.20 Young climate strikers can win their fight. We must all help

02.20 Voyage to the Garbage Patch: the female sailors taking on plastic

02.19 Bees brought Bavarians together. And they have a lesson for us all

02.19 Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall? [Fear that Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]

02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]

02.16 My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

02.12 Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

02.21 Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

02.21 Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight

02.21 Alec Baldwin fears for family's safety after Trump 'retribution' threats [0:40 video]

02.20 Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]

02.20 The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

02.20 Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

02.19 Democratic party elites silence Ilhan Omar at their peril [2:01 video]

02.19 The Political Revolution Is Back: Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run for President

Justice Matters

02.19 California Leads 16 States Suing to Block Trump Border Plan

02.19 Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie [Hurrah!]

High Crimes?

02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism

02.21 Historian who confronted Davos billionaires leaks Tucker Carlson rant

02.20 A Centuries-Old Idea Could Revolutionize Climate Policy

International & Futurism

02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]

02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

02.20 My grandfather was a Nazi. I’ve seen why we need the EU

02.19 Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in

02.19 Renewables need urgent investment to ease Australia's transmission bottlenecks, experts warn

02.18 Hate-Fest in Warsaw

02.18 They Used To Hold Hands Through the Wall. Now, There’s Razor Wire.

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Probation Ends for ''Baucus 8''

REPORT:

Probation Ends for "Baucus 8"

Group Vows: “The fight will continue until every person in our nation has access to quality, affordable health care.”

A statement by a consortium of single payer healthcare advocates from such organizations as Maryland Physicians for a National Health Program, Health Care-Now, ProsperityAgenda.US, and Health Care for the Homeless-Maryland

Last spring, single payer advocategroups representing over 20 million people nationwide sent a request to the Senate Finance Committee requesting that one of their leaders testify. This was denied. No one advocating single payer healthcare was permitted to testify.

Jan. 8, 2010, Washington, D.C.—Members of the "Baucus 8" appeared at the H. Carl Moultrie I Courthouse today for their final hearing following 6 months of probation and, for 3 members, 40 hours of community service. The Baucus 8, all of whom are doctors or health advocates, were arrested in the Senate Finance Committee Health Care Roundtable on May 5 for standing up and asking why single payer advocates were not allowed to testify.

Dr. Pat Solomon, a retired pediatrician, noted that, “When we looked at the list of 41 people testifying in the three days of Roundtables, we saw that not a single witness was an advocate of the principle that healthcare should be a fundamental human right for all in America, nor was there anyone to speak for the majority of the American people who support single payer/Medicare for All.”

Senator Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, convened the May Roundtable to kick off the public consideration of the 111th Congress’ legislative proposals for healthcare reform. The Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care, a coalition of nurses, doctors, labor, faith, health advocate and community groups representing over 20 million people nationwide, sent a request to the Finance Committee for one of their leaders testify. When this was denied, thousands of single payer supporters across the nation contacted the committee to request that single payer be included.

“Despite the outpouring of requests,” said Katie Robbins of Healthcare-Now.org, “we were clearly told that we would be excluded. This cemented our growing impression that the healthcare debate was at best, political theater, and that we would have to try a different tactic in order that the only really affordable health reform solution, that addresses the real health care needs of 100% of our nation be heard.”

Senator Baucus received nearly $2 million in campaign contributions from the health industry in 2008 and the entire Senate Finance Committee received over $13 million in 2008.

Kevin Zeese of ProsperityAgenda.US, called the committee “pay to play” because, he charged, “Every seat at the Roundtable was bought by the lobbyists. Senator Baucus received nearly $2 million in campaign contributions from the health industry in 2008 and the entire Senate Finance Committee received over $13 million in 2008.”

“Congress and the White House keep calling the medical industry corporations the ‘stakeholders’ in this reform process,” said Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), “But we know that the true stakeholders are those who provide and receive medical care, not those who profit off the current situation.”

"After we were arrested, Senator Baucus admitted that it was a mistake to take single payer off the table," said Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action. "Clearly it was. Both the House and Senate bills would require Americans to buy a junk insurance at an inflated price. This bill is a bailout of the insurance industry. Instead of bailing out the private insurance companies, we ought to get rid of them and replace them with one public insurance pool. Everybody in, nobody out. Congress ought to defeat this monstrosity, start from scratch and pass single payer. We will get single payer sooner or later. Better sooner."

“Wendell Potter, formerly of CIGNA and Humana (not a member of the Baucus 8), calls this legislation ‘The Private Health Insurance Profit Protection and Enhancement Act,’” stated Dr. Carol Paris, also of PNHP, a practicing physician in Southern Maryland. “And we agree because the final legislation will benefit the medical corporations, further strengthening their ability to buy members of Congress, and will continue the expensive and complicated health situation that we have in this country right now which makes it difficult for patients and doctors to focus on health care.”

In fact, as an example of the revolving door between those who are lobbyists and those who are staff, Liz Fowler, former Vice President of Public Policy at Wellpoint, one of the largest health insurers in the nation, left her lucrative position to work as the point person in the Senate Finance Committee to oversee the legislation. Her name is cited as author of the Senate Finance Bill.

Mark Dudzic of the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, said the group’s action has been vindicated by the subsequent actions in the Senate. “The current deplorable proposals for healthcare reform under consideration in Congress show what happens when you start bargaining by conceding all of the terrain to your opponent. Any shop steward in America would have done a better job than the leaders of the political party in control of overwhelming majorities in both houses of congress.”

In addition to probation, the prosecutor insisted that the three Baucus 8 defendants who lived in the Washington, DC area also perform 40 hours of community service. “I spend every day serving my community,” said Adam Schneider, who is employed by Health Care for the Homeless. “I’m proud of the stand we took and had no problem doing an extra 40 hours of service to my community. But if there was any justice in the world, Senator Baucus and his corporate sponsors would have also been required to spend 40 hours with my clients to understand their desperate need for access to healthcare before they give a $500 billion bailout to the private health insurance industry.”

The group is unanimous that no matter what passes this year, health care reform is not over in this nation. Patients will continue to suffer and die needlessly, families will continue to face bankruptcy and foreclosure because of medical debt until we have a national publicly-financed and privately-delivered single payer/Medicare for all health system. Such a system would be transparent and accountable to the people unlike the current situation in which private insurers are experts at hiding information from the public and at violating their own written rules without recourse.

This year saw tremendous growth in a national movement for Medicare for all. The Baucus 8 vow to continue to do whatever it takes, even facing arrest again, to get an honest and open-minded debate about what type of health system is best so that people in this nation can be healthy and productive and stop worrying about what they will do if accident or illness strikes.


Signatories to this Baucus 8 report include: Kevin Zeese, kzeese@earthlink.net; Mark Dudzic, mdudzic@thelaborparty.org; Margaret Flowers, M.D., mdpnhp@gmail.com; Russell Mokhiber , russellmokhiber@gmail.com; Carol Paris, M.D., caparis52@hotmail.com; Katie Robbins, healthcarenow08@gmail.com; Pat Salomon-Rodriguez, M.D., drpatsalomon@aol.com; and Adam Schneider, aschneider@hchmd.org



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on January 9, 2010.
 

Public Service Ads: