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This has been said before but we need to say it again:  Health insurance reform is being held hostage by six Senators on the Senate Finance Committe -- who represent the smallest, least populated states in the Union.

And we can't do a damn thing about it.

Health insurance reform is being held hostage by six Senators on the Senate Finance Committe -- who represent the smallest, least populated states in the Union.

Here is the Gang of Six; their party and state; and, the population of their state.

Baucus; D-MT,  902,195
Conrad; D-ND;  642,200
Bingaman; D-NM; 1,820,000
Grassley; R-IA; 2,926,000
Snowe; R-ME; 1,274,000
Enzi; R-WY; 493,728 (the least populated state in the USofA)

Total population of these six states:  6,420,000
Population of the US:  300,000,000

Thus, health insurance reform is being held hostage by TWO PERCENT OF THE POPULATION.

Oh, and they have a lot of help from the health insurance industry:

[Article edited for copyright violation. MB]

WASHINGTON — Sen. Max Baucus, a leader in the troubled effort in Congress to write a health care overhaul bill, has received more campaign donations from the health industry than any elected federal official except President Barack Obama and three other senators.

In keeping with the ways of Washington and Capitol Hill, Baucus is enjoying this donor largesse — some $3.9 million in contributions from the health care industry since 1989 — principally because of his place as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. It's the panel that has had as much or more to say than any about whatever kind of medical overhaul emerges from Congress.

. . .

Four other congressional committees have produced bills that tilt heavily toward Democratic priorities. The work of the Gang of Six is important because Baucus' bill — set to be unveiled Wednesday — is seen as the closest to a draft that might win Senate passage with some GOP support. It's also the closest to what the health industry wants: It has no government-run insurance option, would require individuals to get coverage and sets up experiments in limiting medical malpractice suits.

Originally posted to Old Redneck on Wed Sep 16, 2009 at 07:38 AM PDT.

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