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Opposition to Health Reform Efforts Impacting Transparency

Baucus Holds Health Care Details Close

Billings Gazette
Mike Dennison

July 01, 2009

While Sen. Max Baucus declined Friday to release details of the latest dealings on a comprehensive health reform bill in the U.S. Senate, President Barack Obama’s health secretary told reporters that Obama strongly supports a national “public option” insurance plan.

“The president supports a true public option that would be a (health) benefits program run by the government that can compete side-by-side with private insurers, and help hold down costs and offer some choice to consumers,” said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services.

Sebelius spoke at a news conference with reporters from around the country, including the Gazette State Bureau.

She also released a state-by-state report on the health care “status quo,” saying it shows the dire need for reforming America’s health care system.

Out of reach The Montana report, available at, says that affordable health coverage “is increasingly out of reach in Montana.”

“All it takes is a stroke of bad luck to become one of the 46 million people without insurance or the millions who are not able to afford” health care, Sebelius said. “We know that every day in America, families are being crushed by the high cost of health care.”

In the Senate, Baucus said he’s continuing to work on crafting a bill to be released this summer.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that a group of bipartisan senators led by Baucus has made progress on holding the cost of the legislation to a $1 trillion target and determining how to finance it.

Yet Baucus, a Montana Democrat and chairman of the influential Senate Finance Committee, wouldn’t talk Friday about what’s being specifically discussed.


July 1, 2009 - Posted by | Accountability, Economics of Health care, Federal Government, Transparency | , ,

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