- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Protesters demanding that Congress consider a government-run health care system briefly halted a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday morning before being thrown out by police.

As committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus opened a roundtable discussion on overhauling the nation’s health care system, several demonstrators stood up and shouted their disapproval that lawmakers have refused to consider a so-called “single pay option.”

“Put single payer on the table,” shouted several of the protests, who were dressed in suits or business attire.

“Why are our voices not being heard — every other health care voice is at the table,” shouted another.

After several protesters were hauled off by police, Mr. Baucus quipped, “We need more police,” which drew a laughter from the packed hearing room.

Eight protesters were removed from the hearing room at the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Mr. Baucus, a Montana Democrat shepherding President Obama’s health care reform priorities through Congress, has said that replacing the current private health insurance system with a Canadian-style government-run single payer model is not practical or politically feasible. But he and the administration support creating a government-run health insurance option that would compete with private insurers.