Sebelius, Baucus Rebuked Over Health Care

Aaron Flint posted on August 24, 2010 07:57 :: 1253 Views

As the Associated Press reports, even Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) was taken aback by the harsh questioning and criticism of the federal health care bill he helped author, as the US Senate’s Finance Committee Chair and a Cabinet secretary held a listening session in Libby, Montana.  

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined Baucus at the event.  Oddly enough, I checked in with our Libby radio affilliate to see what they were planning for news coverage and they mentioned having trouble even getting information out of the Senator’s office regarding the days events.  Nonetheless, a  few critics were able to make it inside. 

Here’s what the AP report had to say:

Instead of saying thanks, some residents rebuked Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Sen. Max Baucus on Monday for the very law that could help potentially thousands of asbestos victims here.

The health care reform law passed last year expands Medicare coverage for the sick residents of Libby, where years of asbestos pollution from a vermiculite mine made this the nation’s deadliest Superfund site.

Other reports I received indicated a much more luke warm meeting than the AP suggests.  However, it is telling that even here in Libby, Montana- a place that was given a special deal (albeit deserving) under this federal health care bill, angst continues to surface over the bill.  

One woman asked Baucus where it says in the Constitution that people should be required to purchase health care. Another, retired nurse Judy Mattot, demanded to know whether Sebelius and Baucus had read the entire bill.

“How can you pass something that you don’t know what’s in it?” Mattot said.

The questions seemed to put Baucus off guard.

Of course, if the politicians wanted to take care of Libby- they could have done so as a stand-alone measure, instead of passing a bill that nearly everyone else (Libby residents included) has problems with.

Sebelius also spoke at an event in Missoula, you can find video of that event by clicking here.

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