Sanders Steps Up Push for Single-Payer Health Care as Old Foe Switches Sides

WASHINGTON — In the summer of 2009, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. was asked if Max Baucus, the Democratic chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which was taking the lead on health care reform at the time, was open to his ideas.

“To a single-payer idea? No. Not in a million years,” Sanders replied to a C-SPAN interviewer.

Sanders — who just announced that he will roll out his much-anticipated single-payer health care bill next week — didn’t have to wait that long.

In fact, it took less than 10 years for Baucus to come around. The former Montana senator told an audience in Montana on Thursday that “we’ve got to start looking at single-payer,” the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.

Image: House Holds Hearing On Nomination Of Max Baucus To Be Ambassador To China

Then-Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) testifies during his confirmation hearing to become ambassador to China before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee January 28, 2014 on Capitol Hill.