Magazine September 7, 2009, Issue

Stuck There in the Middle

Max Baucus (Darren Gygi)
For better and for worse, Max Baucus is driving the health-care agenda

If Congress does not pass a health-care bill with a public option, the credit (from others, the blame) will fall on the shoulders of one of America’s most powerful backroom dealers: Sen. Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat.

A nondescript 67-year-old who has spent the majority of his life in Congress, Baucus is the Finance Committee chairman and the Senate gatekeeper for health-care and climate-change legislation, as well as pretty much any spending bill the Obama administration thrusts before Congress. Baucus categorically declared earlier this year that single-payer health care “is not going to work in this country.” Since then, he has

To Read the Full Story
Travis Kavulla is director of Energy and Environmental Policy at the R Street Institute. He is a former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners who held elected office as a Montana public service commissioner for eight years. Before that, he was an associate editor for National Review.

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