Beyond the protests and the obvious attention paid to President Barack Obama's visit on Friday, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer made some headlines of his own with his ringing endorsement of the Canadian single-payer health care system.
Bucking the obvious "no one's talking about government run health care" message coming from the Obama and Baucus camps, Schweitzer gave a rousing speech on the virtues of the Canadian single-payer system, in which the government picks up the health care tab for its citizens.
From where I was sitting (tucked safely behind all the national media types in the far back corner of the room) Schweitzer’s praise of former Saskatchewan Premiere Tommy Douglas — the "father" of Canada's single-payer health care system — was a huge hit.
Here’s the complete video (sorry I couldn’t zoom in more, but as a local print journalist I was relegated to the cheap seats in the way back):
That wasn't the first time Schweitzer touted a national universal health care system. At a debate in Helena last September Schweitzer bemoaned the fact that the United States, the most powerful nation in the world, was ranked 37th when it came to health care for it’s citizens:
“The next president of the United States will deliver a universal health care for all of the United States. We don’t need a study in Montana, we a national health care system that is affordable, accessible for every American family.”
Here’s the audio from that Sept. 25 debate: