Progressives Hit Baucus

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With the Senate Finance Committee slated to vote on whether to add a public option to Chairman Max Baucus's (D-MT) health reform bill this week, two progressive groups are hitting Baucus with this ad in his home state. In it, a man driven into debt by a congenital heart disease suggests Montanans can't trust Baucus because he's taken millions of dollars in donations from the health care and insurance industries:

Baucus has become the focal point of liberal frustrations with the health reform sausage-making process: he led the bipartisan negotiations that stalled health reform through August (while failing to garner any GOP support), and the package he's put forward does not include a public option. It provides for health insurance co-ops instead, and right now it's viewed as the only proposal moderate enough to get the votes needed to pass in the Senate.

Montanans support a public option 47 percent to 43 percent, according to a Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll released August 22.

The two groups running the ad, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America, have committed $50,000 to running the ad in Montana and D.C., and they say they plan to raise more to extend the buy.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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