Max Baucus, the Democrat who chairs the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, is coming out in a big way for health care reform. He has assembled a council of over 30 medical professionals with the intent of developing five ways in which to improve the health care system, not just in his home state of Montana but across the nation as a whole.
Via Diane Cochran at The Billings Gazette:
"I think in life we only have two choices on most things - try, or do nothing, and clearly we've got to try to crack this nut," Baucus said at St. Vincent Healthcare during one of 10 health care listening sessions across the state. "Doing nothing is not an option."One aspect of the problems faced by Americans is especially prevalent in Montana. That would be the plight of small businesses and those employed by them. According to an interview with St. Vincent Health Care CEO Jim Paquette on Montana'sNewStation.com, out of 160,000 uninsured Montanans, roughly 53% of them work for small businesses that do not employ enough people to to create the large pool needed to drive employer provided health care costs down. This among other factors is giving Baucus' efforts a high profile.
Reforming the country's health care "hodge-podge" - it's too fragmented to be called a system, Baucus said - will probably be the biggest problem he tackles in his congressional career, the senator said.
SOURCE: "Baucus hears concerns over health care system" 10/21/08
photo courtesy of KimberlyFaye, used under its Creative Commons license