Single payer will get a floor vote

SINGLE PAYER WILL GET A FLOOR VOTE…. It’s not going to pass, and it’s largely a symbolic gesture, but for the first time, a single-payer health proposal will get a floor vote after the August recess.

Seeking to dampen liberal anger about deals cut with centrists, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said House leaders have agreed to allow a floor vote on a government-run, single-payer system.

“A lot of members on our committee want a vote on that,” said Waxman said in an interview. “I believe their wishes will be accommodated.”

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) offered a single-payer amendment in the Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday, but withdrew it after Waxman said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had promised a floor vote.

For single-payer proponents, the vote will offer a chance to not only register their support, but bring some attention to their proposal. It might also put some Democrats, who support reform but not a single-payer system, in an awkward position, knowing that the idea is popular among many in the Democratic base.

It should be an interesting vote.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.