From Crooks&LiarsBy Susie Madrak Wednesday May 06, 2009 8:45am
You know, it really is interesting, how thoroughly they've scoured almost every public hearing on health-care reform from anyone testifying in favor of single-payer - the only solution that makes economic sense under our dire economic circumstances. I wonder why?
They must really be scared.
Health care activists disrupted a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, standing up one after the other as Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) tried to restore order.
As soon as police escorted one protester out of the room, another would stand up, criticizing the committee for convening a panel of 15 experts and excluding witnesses who support creating a Medicare system for all Americans. About eight were led out of the hearing.
“We need more police,” Baucus said.
The mini-protest was organized by Healthcare Now, Physicians for a National Health Program and Single Payer Action, all of whom support a single-payer, government-run health care system.
“Single-payer needs to be on the table,” one of the protesters yelled. “This is political theater.”
Baucus eventually restored order to the hearing, asking those who remained in the audience not to cause further disruptions.
“I want you to know I care deeply about your views,” Baucus said.
The press seated comfortably at the press table first looked amused and then puzzled by the procession of protest in the chamber. The C-SPAN cameras fixed on both the Committee’s table at the front of the room and the witness table directly across from them could have easily picked up the protests but the network chose to keep their cameras fixed only on Chairman Baucus — though the protestors’ words could be heard in the audience. Only two reporters of the 20 or so assembled were curious enough or industrious enough to rise and exit the room to see the arrests being carried out in the hallway.
While neither the Finance Committee or the press allowed their proceedings to be disrupted for very long, the air in the room and the atmosphere had changed — the giddy and gleeful assembly of industry lobbyists who had been chattering in rapt anticipation of the coming of their carefully chosen witnesses could not deny that some brave and patriotic fellow citizens had just been hauled out for arrest for nothing more than demanding that a point of view held by a majority of patients, nurses, physicians and other health-care providers be included in the national discussion.