So the “leadership” avoided a vote on single-payer in the Energy and Commerce Committee in exchange for allowing one on the House floor in September, presumably prior to a vote on a public option bill. This is a good thing, as well as bad. It’s bad that we lost the chance for a committee vote today. It’s good that we can advance the cause of single-payer, and we have a month in which to work the miracle of finding 100 new supporters and/or persuading a significant caucus to take a stand for it and whip for it.
But it’s also bad in that it may make a lot of noise without in the end getting anybody better healthcare, and we may lose focus on keeping the state single-payer language in the bill, or at least getting a stand-alone vote on THAT. Because that second-best approach has a very good chance of success if we organize and fight for it, and if we get some members of Congress to do the same.
Below is Weiner’s statement:
Speaker Pledges to Consider Single-Payer Plan as Alternative
First Time Single-Payer Debated on Floor
“It’s a Better Plan and now it’s on Center Stage,” says Weiner
Washington, DC – Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee announced today that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pledged to give Single-Payer an up or down vote when healthcare reform is considered before year’s end.
Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Co-Chair of the Middle Class Caucus and member of the Energy & Commerce Committee who led the effort with Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA); Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY); Rep. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL); Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL); and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), released the following statement:
“Single-payer is a better plan and now it is on center stage. Americans have a clear choice. Their Member of Congress will have a simpler, less expensive and smarter bill to choose. I am thrilled that the Speaker is giving us that choice.”