Holy Crap. Max Baucus Now Supports Single Payer?

Charles Dharapak/ap

“My personal view is we’ve got to start looking at single-payer. I think we should have hearings…. We’re getting there. It’s going to happen.”

That’s former Senator Max Baucus at a talk last night at Montana State University.

It’s no secret that single payer health insurance is getting more popular among Democrats. And Baucus was definitely not a supporter of single payer when he was a senator. But this doesn’t really capture the extent of it. Baucus was a critical player in passing Obamacare. And since Obamacare was and is a big step forward from where we were before Obamacare, that’s a great thing. But it is difficult to overstate the degree to which Baucus was a critical force among Senate Democrats preventing a more progressive version of Obamacare from becoming law. Really, really critical.

The article I’m quoting from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle notes that Baucus didn’t used to be a supporter of single payer. That’s true. But again, that really understates the shift.