Sen. Baucus To Meet With Single-Payer Reform Advocates WednesdayThe San Francisco Chronicle reports that Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., will meet with supporters of a single-payer health system Wednesday to discuss their ideas on health reform.
"Last month, Baucus had 13 single-payer activists removed from public hearings in the Capitol on health reform. The activists were frustrated that a plan for health care fully funded by the federal government was excluded from the discussions." The Chronicle reported that "President Obama says he wants Congress to agree on a health care reform package before the August recess. Pressure from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries is playing a large role in keeping a single-payer plan from being seriously considered, although some polls show that such a system is supported nationwide, at least in concept." The activists argue that Baucus says that all options are still on the table but refuses any inclusion of a single-payer plan.
The advocates scheduled to meet with Baucus include two representatives from the California Nurses Association, as well as "Dr. David Himmelstein, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program; Dr. Oliver Fein, associate dean at Cornell University's Weill Medical College and president of Physicians for a National Health Program; and Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and lecturer at Harvard Medical School." Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is also expected to attend the meeting. Sanders is sponsoring a single-payer system bill in Congress (Colliver, 6/3).
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