U.S. Sen. Max Baucus is bringing the top official in charge of Medicare to Libby on Wednesday as part of Baucus’ ongoing work to ensure Libby asbestos victims are taken care of after he leaves the Senate at the end of 2014.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner was confirmed by the Senate in May.

Due to a provision Baucus wrote in the Affordable Care Act, Libby asbestos victims receive health care coverage under Medicare, which Tavenner heads as administrator of CMS.

“The people of Libby suffered a grave injustice at the hands of greed. Together, we’ve worked hard to begin healing and deliver the much-needed health care folks in Libby deserve. But we still have work to do. I want to make sure Administrator Tavenner is so moved by her visit to Libby that she will ensure CMS carries on our work long after I leave the Senate,” Baucus said in a written statement.

Baucus will bring Tavenner to the Libby cemetery, where families of those lost to asbestos poisoning will share the stories of their loved ones.

Then Baucus will bring her on a tour of the CARD Clinic and introduce her to asbestos victims currently benefitting from Medicare coverage, as well as some who are not eligible for certain benefits because they have moved out of Lincoln County.

Baucus has been calling on CMS to extend all benefits to Libby victims no longer living in Lincoln County.

Baucus will also bring Tavenner to the Northwest Community Health Center in Lincoln County to show her first-hand how implementation of the Affordable Care Act is working for rural Montana clinics.

​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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