Archive for June 6th, 2009

by Pete Talbot



(These photos won’t win any awards but try snapping pictures while holding a sign.  It may not look like it but there are about 200 people at this rally for single-payer health care held at Sen. Baucus’ office in Downtown Missoula on Friday.)     





I’ve been to a Baucus listening session. Attended the Forward Montana presentation by Ezra Klein.  I’ve talked to area doctors.  I’m really trying to get educated and stay objective.  I still keep coming back to this:

Keep single-payer health care on the table.

I know, there are progressives out there who will consider it a victory to get some sort of public option (read government-managed health care) through congress.  There are those in the lefty blogosphere who are accepting of Baucus’ strategy and are resigned to single-payer being left on the cutting room floor. Then there are my friends at SEIU who also aren’t challenging Baucus on single-payer.  

I heard Mr. Klein say that Max is working hard on health care and there’s no way single-payer could pass.  I also heard him say, during the Q and A, that “intellectually” he thinks single-payer is the best solution.    

And there are a lot of folks out there who think, whether it’s for “intellectual,” economic or emotional reasons, that single-payer should be part of the debate.  And they’re angry.  I saw many of them at the Baucus listening session at St. Pat’s Hospital.

Can you blame them for being angry?  Can you imagine how the health industry corporations would have reacted if instead of saying single-payer is off the table, Max would have said that the private sector is off the table? 

The policy wonks are saying single-payer is a non-starter.  So maybe Max is crazy like a fox.  He knows single-payer won’t make it through congress this year.  Maybe he figures that he can get some watered down public option through. Then, it’s just a matter of time before the public option trumps the private insurance industry.  Then again, maybe Max just doesn’t want to piss off the big insurance/health care/parma industries.  I don’t know.

The doctors I spoke to said single-payer is inevitable — 20 or 30 years down the road.  I’m not willing to wait that long.

Let me employ a cliche: we have to push the envelope.  If our health care system is going to evolve, we must keep the pressure on.  Keep single-payer on the table.



by problembear

let’s just take ourselves a cherished remembered stroll down to chet’s bar in alberton about ten years ago…or the lumberjack saloon at graves creek a few years ago…. say you just dumped the boat in the gorge and you need a drink to smooth the willies so you sidle up to the bar and order a whiskey ditch and a beer back, with a shot of jack daniels up front. you turn away from the mirror and watch the band playing behind you…(if you click this link to you tube please be patient and wait a minute and 48 seconds into it to hear jack’s great voice).one voice seems out of place here in this little bar….one voice seems like it just drove up in a big old cadillac straight from nashville…there’s a mellowness and a character to the voice you just don’t get from an amateur or a local  professional. so you listen and you discover the treasure of Jack Rice playing in some old run down honky tonk in a small town in montana surrounded by the most colorful cast of characters that ever stepped out of the wild west of montana’s old time fiddlers….well,  jack has passed on and now the gang is throwin’ jack a proper sendoff this weekend. the music of the Montana Old Time Fiddler’s will start the music to honor Jack at 2pm sunday june 7 at  lumberjack’s saloon up graves creek road. you can bet the S.O. and i will be there….if you want to help us send jack off right bring a comfortable chair, a little dish for potluck, an instrument and settle in for a good old montana wake….

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