House to Vote on Single Payer HR-676
Really. Sort of.
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) will introduce, in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, an amendment to the Tri-Committee health care bill. The amendment would replace the private health insurance industry with a single-payer national health insurance program.
In effect, the Weiner amendment would substitute Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) single-payer bill, HR-676, for the Tri-Committee legislation.
The vote will take place the same day it is offered; last I heard on Monday.
It is a good thing, even though it will not pass.
- It will make more clear what reform we are getting and what we are not getting, that whatever the details of whatever eventually passes in 2009 is NOT single payer, is not Canada/French/Taiwan style single payer like. That it is not DOD/VAMC/UK/Spainish style socialized medicine.
- It gives us single payer advocates a little bit of satisfaction.
- It gives the Democratic leadership, including Obama, the added ability to point out that they are NOT supporting single payer. Hurrah for them.
If your representative is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, please call your congressperson today and ask that he or she support Rep. Weiner's single-payer amendment. A list of Committee members can be found here.
The Congressional Switchboard can be reached toll-free at 800-473-6711.
If your representative is not a member of the Committee, please call Committee Chair Henry Waxman at 202-225-3976 and ask him to support Weiner's single-payer amendment.
This initiative was inspired in part by Rep. Weiner's meeting with Dr. Quentin Young of PNHP at the time of Dr. Young's testimony in support of single payer before the House Ways and Means Committee in June. It is also a reflection of the grassroots demand that single payer be on the table in Congress.
Other potential supporters on the committee besides Weiner, the following members are co-sponsors of HR-676: Tammy Baldwin (WI), Donna Christensen (VI), Eliot Engel (NY), Edward Markey (MA), Bobby Rush (IL), Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Peter Welch (VT). How they will vote on the amendment is not certain, of course.
Let there be a vote.