James McGee, who blogs at The Amazing Maze of U.S. Health Care (and who, as a health plan administrator, knows his way around the maze better than most people), has compiled an assortment of videos showing the protesters at the Senate Finance Committee’s hearing on health care reform. Check them out here.
The protestors were, of course, decrying the fact that the 15-person witness list at what was billed as “A Roundtable Discussion on Expanding Health Care Coverage” included representatives from think tanks, business groups, labor unions, insurance companies, health care providers, but not a single person supporting a single-payer public health care system.
As protestors were escorted from the room by capitol cops, the response from the committee’s chair, Montana Democrat Max Baucus, a leading member of what purports to be the party of the people, was the amusing quip, “We need more police.” As Amy Goodman notes today, the line is becoming a rallying cry for the single-payer movement, and those arrested at the hearing are calling themselves the Baucus 13.
McGee also points out that instead of debating about whether health care reform should include a “public option,” we ought to be asking why it needs to include any private options, since they’ve been shown to provide lower quality health care at much higher cost.