Breach of Promise: Sen. Baucus just ditched America at the altar

baucusBy Jane Stillwater

After Barack Obama got elected and we didn’t have to deal with George W. Bush any more, I honestly thought that I could finally relax… and take a holiday from intense vexation and frustration with our government — but no. I’m still fighting mad. I’m still pissed off enough to chew nails. And I’m still out for blood. And it’s still High Noon during America’s battle for representative government. And as Markos Moulitsus Zuniga once said, “You don’t bring a spork to a gunfight.” Trust me, I won’t.

According to the Baltimore Chronicle, Senator Max Baucus of Montana has received almost two million dollars from health care lobbyists alone — $1,826,652 to be exact. I could live like a princess for the rest of my life on that amount! “Corporate health profiteers who invested in Baucus will now benefit from his stewardship over health care reform,” stated the Chronicle. “His 2008 donations from health care profiteers included: Insurance: $592,185; Health Professionals: $537,141; Pharmaceuticals/Health Products: $524,813; Health Services/HMOs: $364,500; Hospitals/Nursing Homes: $332,826. That is $1,826,652 Baucus took from these industries.”

With almost two million dollars stuffed into his back pocket and screaming for him to represent the interests of the so-called health care industry, why would Max Baucus chose to represent us just plain Americans instead?

I’ll tell you why.

That man took an oath!

When Max Baucus was sworn into office as a senator, he made a solemn promise that he would “well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.” And what exactly are these duties, Max? To represent interests of the people who voted for you! You promised! And now you have broken you promise and ditched America at the altar. That’s called “Breach of Promise,” Max. And that is an actionable offense.

Apparently Senator Baucus has used his position in Congress to kill any hope of American citizens receiving a decent healthcare delivery plan. This man has sold out. “Hitched or Ditched?” This man has become America’s runaway groom.

Upon his induction into the Senate, Baucus promised to represent the people who elected him. He hasn’t. He promised us. “So help me God.” But he sold his soul to the devil instead. And I want this man impeached — if not jailed. I want to send a very clear message out to Senator Max Baucus — and to EVERY member of Congress, and to the President too. “You either start representing the people who elected you or else face grave consequences.” If you break your promise to us, you are gonna be in a whole bunch of trouble — much worse trouble than you would be in if you didn’t have a back pocket stuffed with cash.

Americans should have sent this message to George W. Bush back in 2001 when he didn’t sign the Kyoto Agreement to help prevent global warming, when he failed miserably to protect us on 9-11 and when he first began selling America off to lobbyists — chunk by chunk. But it’s still not too late to get the message across to Senator Baucus!

My neighbor’s little girl has no healthcare. Her parents are in that inconvenient tax bracket where they have too much income to qualify for Medi-Cal but not enough income to pay for the health insurance that Max’s friends are offering. If, heaven forbid, anything happens to this sweet little girl because Senator Baucus blocked single-payer healthcare, I will hold that man personally responsible.

Max Baucus broke his promise. Max Baucus left America at the altar while he ran off with health care insurance companies, Big Pharma and other K Street whores. This makes me angry. This makes me fierce. I want that man out of the Senate. I want that man in jail. I want every uninsured man, woman and child in America to join me in an impeachment campaign against Baucus. And I want him to feel the sting of a class-action lawsuit generated by every single person in America who has ever suffered illness and harm because they were turned down for health care by Baucus’ friends. Given the $1,826,652 Baucus has already received from the so-called health care industry, the settlement amount would probably only come out to one dollar per person, and that’s not much compensation for the world of pain Americans have suffered and will suffer because of his “Breach of Promise” — but it would make ME feel a whole lot better.

Please call Senator Baucus’s office in Washington DC right now. His phone number is 202-224- 2651. Let’s make Max Baucus accountable for breaking his oath.

And, according to my friend Jerry, Senator Baucus is already getting into deep trouble with the citizens who elected him. “Senator Baucus just got slammed by the folks back home in Montana during a series of Town Hall meetings that he ran. He got so spooked by the people that he sent staff out there to cover his [bottom].” Yeah.

From the Baltimore Chronicle: Max Baucus Should Not Be Deciding Health Care for America: The “Senator for K Street” is Putting Campaign Donor Profits Ahead of the Basic Needs of the People: Senator Max Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee are too corrupted by corporate health industry profiteers donations to give America the health care policy it needs. Health care is 15% of the U.S. gross domestic product. U.S. health care expenditures, which have been rising rapidly for several years, surpassed $2.4 trillion in 2007, more than three times the $714 billion spent in 1990. The cost of health care is projected to reach $4.4 trillion by 2018. There is a lot of room for corporate profiteering in the increasing cost of health care. The millions the health care industry has invested in Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee could therefore turn out to be very profitable.

It is evident that any bill that comes out of the Senate Finance Committee will be a pro-industry bill that will ensure trillions in profits for the health insurance industry, HMOs and the pharmaceutical industry.

Baucus has held two hearings so far and has refused to allow advocates for the most popular reform-a single payer national health policy-to even testify. Single payer “improved Medicare for all” is favored by more than 60% of Americans as well as majorities of doctors, nurses and economists. It is the most cost-effective and efficient way to provide health care to all Americans from cradle to grave.

Why aren’t single payer advocates allowed to testify before Baucus’ committee? Follow the money. Campaign donations explain why, and demonstrate that the Senate Finance Committee should not be in charge of health care. Senator Reid should remove the health care reform bill from Baucus and start all over before the Health Committee in the Senate.

Here’s why Baucus is not doing the people’s business:
According to OpenSecrets.org [1], over his career he has taken donations from:

* The Insurance Industry: $1,170,313
* Health Professionals: $1,016,276
* Pharmaceuticals/Health Products Industry: $734,605
* Hospitals/Nursing Homes: $541,891
* Health Services/HMOs: $439,700

Baucus has shown his bias and should be removed from leading the health care reform effort by the Democratic Party leadership.
That is a grand total of $3,902,785. Can we trust Baucus to put aside the profits of the industries that have kept him in the Senate? Will he put the people’s necessities ahead of the profits of his contributors?

In 2008 Baucus had virtually no challenger in Montana. A little-known Republican was on the ballot, and Baucus won with 73% of the vote. But, Baucus sought big donations from big business anyway. He used his connections to corporations with business before his committee to raise an immense campaign fund of more than $11 million. In 2008, 91% of his donations come from individuals living outside of Montana, which is why he is more the “Senator for K Street” then the Senator for Montana. Corporate health profiteers who invested in Baucus will now benefit from his stewardship over health care reform. His 2008 donations from health care profiteers included:

* Insurance: $592,185
* Health Professionals: $537,141
* Pharmaceuticals/Health Products: $524,813
* Health Services/HMOs: $364,500
* Hospitals/Nursing Homes: $332,826

That is $1,826,652 Baucus took from these industries, and now he can reward them by deforming health care reform.

The health care profiteers knew that Baucus would determine their fate and ponied up. Now the only thing standing between them and their payback is a single payer national health care plan. Yet single payer, which would end private insurance and control the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, is not being considered-not even allowed to participate in the conversation before Baucus.
It is not just the chairman of the committee who has received massive donations. The full Finance Committee is a gluttonous embarrassment of campaign pay-offs. In 2008 the committee members received a total of $13,263,986 from industries affected by health care reform. Can we trust this committee to put the interests of the people before their donors?

The donations to the Finance Committee in 2008 included:
* Insurance: $5,103,900
* Pharmaceuticals/Health Products: $3,308,831
* Hospitals/Nursing Homes: $2,809,353
* Health Services/HMOs: $2,041,902
These industries expect to be rewarded with billions, even trillions, in profits and hundreds of millions in corporate welfare. Senator Baucus’s behavior shows they have made a good investment –they’ve bought themselves a senator who should be called Chairman Blagojevich. He is doing his best to make sure the single payer message is not heard because he knows it is the fairest, most efficient and cost-effective way to ensure health care access for all Americans-but he can’t let that be implemented because it would put some of his donors out of business and control the profits of others.

It is time to remove Baucus from the leadership of health care reform. It is time to move the critically important priority of reforming America’s health care system from the Finance Committee and put it before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. At least their mission is health care, not money.

About karlsie

Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different. General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel. The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love. Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor. We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.

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One Comment on “Breach of Promise: Sen. Baucus just ditched America at the altar”

  1. Impeach this thief! Democrats are hiding this “drunk” until something is done with healthcare. He cheated on his wife. Married his mistress, His donations from Lobbyists over the 30 plus years in Public office has to come to an end!

    Ron Knapp

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