Senator Max Baucus is taking a bashing from liberal Democrats for leaving public insurance out of the Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare reform bill.
With the committee chaired by Baucus headed for a showdown on the issue Tuesday, a new ad taken out by the liberal wing of his own Democratic party notes he took millions in contributions from the health and insurance industries and asks: “Whose side are you on?”
Baucus is a target because he kept a public option out of his healthcare bill in order to try to fashion a measure that could win both Republican and Democratic support.
President Barack Obama favors a public option. Under the system he proposes, people who do not get health insurance through their employer could go to a government-sponsored marketplace to buy insurance.
The marketplace would be comprised mainly of private insurers, but Obama also favors a public option to make sure there is enough competition to push down prices.