Liberals Sponsor Anti-Baucus Ad, Former Lawmakers Call For Civility
A new ad from a liberal group attacks Sen. Max Baucus' position on the public option. Meanwhile, some former lawmakers want to tone down the rhetoric in the debate.
Roll Call: "On Tuesday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America plan to begin airing - in Montana and on cable news - an ad featuring a Montana father with a congenital heart defect. In the spot, Bing Perrine talks about his struggle to pay for a heart surgery he needs and the more than $100,000 in medical bills he already has racked up. In the ad, Perrine accuses Baucus of taking more than $3.9 million in campaign cash from health care and insurance interests, including nearly $1.2 million from insurance companies" (Pierce, 9/28).
The Hill: "The ad will begin airing Tuesday, when the Finance Committee will vote on amendments to include a public option in the Baucus bill" (O'Brien, 9/28).
The Washington Post: "Baucus spokesman Tyler Matsdorf said the senator's version of health-care legislation would prevent such situations from occurring and complained that the ad 'falsely indicates' otherwise" (Eggen, 9/28).
In the meantime, former lawmakers are calling for civility in the reform debate, CongressDaily reports: "As former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., follow the healthcare overhaul debate in Congress, they despair that too many lawmakers have forgotten how to legislate. The retired lawmakers, with a combined 52 years in Congress, keep looking for deal-makers but keep finding partisans blocking possible compromises and endangering the chances of any substantive measure. The senators who proclaim they will never compromise on health care, said Simpson, 'are totally ineffective. They think the word "compromise" means wimp. They are not good legislators. They are awfully good flag-wavers and tub-thumpers and ribbon-cutters. But they don't cut the mustard. They don't get the job done'" (Condon, 9/29).
The (Springfield, Ill.) State Journal-Register reports that Sen. Dick Durbin is calling questions on health care reform - and the public option - legitimate: "'Can you really trust the government, or will they make it worse?' he said, reflecting the questions some of his constituents have asked him during debate in Washington, D.C., about health-insurance reform. 'That is a legitimate question,' Durbin, D-Ill., said during a 'listening session' on health-care reform proposals attended by about 60 people at Springfield's Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. 'We have to make sure we do make it better'" (Olsen, 9/28).