Max Baucus Is Mr. Health Care

An unlikely champion of reform takes the lead in the Senate

Tim Sloan / AFP / Getty

Among Democrats, Max Baucus is known mostly for his apostasies. So crucial was the Montana Senator to passing George W. Bush's tax cuts in 2001 that he was rewarded with a prime spot at the signing ceremony in the White House East Room. Two years later, it was Baucus who helped Republicans pass a pharmaceutical-industry-friendly Medicare prescription-drug bill, even as his party's congressional leadership was shut out of the process. It is understandable, then, that when Democrats took back control of the White House, many in the party were more than a little dismayed about Baucus' position at the helm of...

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