Friday, July 31, 2009

Single Payer Is ON the Table! Take that Baucus!

July 31, 2009

Anthony Weiner is about to be the new hero of the progressive crowd after getting a promise from Nancy Pelosi to debate — and vote — on a single-payer plan to solve health care reform.

Weiner got that promise after he agreed to withdraw an amendment to essentially create Medicare for the whole nation in the Energy and Commerce Committee health care markup session this evening.

The Brooklyn-Queens Rep. looked a little surprised when Chairman Henry Waxman said Pelosi would allow that vote, and made Waxman repeat the deal to be sure it was clear and on the record.

It’s an especially big deal for advocates of a single health care system — who see it as cheaper and simpler than the complicated measure being drawn up — because they have been complaining that they have not even been able to get an airing of their position.

And having the vote of the floor of the House will force members to declare a position, and bring much more attention to the idea.

Update: Weiner, who high-fived Tammy Baldwin after getting the deal, crows in a quick press release:

“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.”

Souce: NY Daily News

I was watching the Committee markup session and was as shocked as Weiner when Waxman made the offer.

I know that Pelosi is using it to scare GOP and Blue Dogs into action - but damn - I have worked for this for 6 years and more and I can not contain myself.

Now we need to figure out how to get Weiner and Donna Edwards around the news circuit to explain what single payer is - they are both so intelligent and good at speaking - very articulate.

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