DNC Committee Votes Against Single Payer

On Friday June 24, the Democratic Party’s Platform Drafting Committee rejected an amendment that would have committed the Party to fight for Medicare for All, by a 7-to-6 vote. The vote is a slap in the face to the 81% of Democrats who support Medicare for All.

Many believed that the Platform process would be a means of unifying the Clinton and Sanders campaigns by incorporating key Sanders proposals. The drafting committee was anything but: single-payer was one of dozens of amendments put forward by Committee members appointed by Bernie Sanders, only to be shot down by appointees of Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz. Before single-payer was voted on, the committee voted against supporting a federal $15 minimum wage, opposition to fracking, and even opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which both Clinton and Sanders agree on.

You can watch the full debate and vote here, followed by a scathing rebuke by Cornel West to the alternative language that was approved in place of single-payer, stating that the Party supports healthcare as a right:

Friday’s meeting was just the first step in the process, and the Platform draft can receive further amendments from the full Platform Committee, which consists of delegates from around the country. Finally, the Platform can be amended on the Convention floor at the end of July.

YES votes:

  • Bill McKibben
  • Rep. Keith Ellison
  • Dr. Cornel West
  • Deborah Parker
  • James Zogby
  • Rep. Barbara Lee

NO votes:

  • Carol Browner
  • Paul Booth
  • Wendy Sherman
  • Neera Tanden
  • Luis Guttierez
  • Alicia Reece
  • Bonnie Schaefer



  1. Edith Kenna on June 26, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Again? We went through this with Max Baucus and Senatorial Finance Committee arresting our members of Healthcare-Now and PNHP. Who are these people representing. DNC, I never never giver money directly to the Democratic party….since Baucus. You are an insult to the people you supposedly represent. You have no concept of what Bernie Sanders success means. DNC, you are an anachronism. A problem to be removed.

    • Bill Leikam on June 26, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Totally agree with Edith Keena. I stopped donating to the DNC nearly 10 years ago for similar reasons.

    • Janet carroll on June 29, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      I agree totally with Cornel West. I contributed frequently to Bernie Sanders, but not to the DNC as I do not see that they perform any useful function. The millions and millions who supported Bernie did so because of what he stands for. We deserve to have these ideals included in the platform. If they are not, many of us will not vote for Hillary.

  2. Edith Kenna on June 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Again? We went through this with Max Baucus on Senate Finance Committee during hearing for ACA….and we know, though he arrested members of Healthcare-Now and PNHP for speaking out due to single payer advocates not having a seat at the table, he passed special legislation that in his state, anyone teat had been exposed to asbestos, could be covered by Medicare. Nice. DNC; you are insulting. You are an anachronism top the democratic process and the Party. You appear to have not an inkling to what the Bernie Sanders success represents. Whether Hillary wins or not; the progressive movement is clearly growing. Furious with your choice.

  3. rebecca sawyer-spoon on June 26, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    What the DNC is choosing to support is morally indefensible and fiscally irresponsible.

  4. Leslie Gise on June 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    An Improved Medicare for All system is supported by 30 years of health policy science published in top-peer reviewed journals like JAMA and NEJM and by experience all over the world. What we have is not working well enough. We should do an Improved Medicare for All.

    Leslie Hartley Gise MD

  5. Linda Owen on June 26, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    These Democrats do not reflect our values any more than the Tea Party does. We need a new Party, rather than having to continually struggle with this one.

    • Dee on June 27, 2016 at 8:47 am

      This party is the other side of the same WS counterfeit coin of pretense. The “two” party system was designed and put into play decades ago but the people or on to you. You are a Rigged and rotten system of lies. Political Revolution will end it since you refuse to hear the people. There is more fraud waste and theft by insurance & pharma raping and pillaging the patients and the public coffers. That is what both parties do for their corporates’ kleptomaniacas that fill the Dems And the Repubs pockets­čĹ╣

    • Henry Martin on July 2, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      @Linda, I’ve been saying this for years. Any political “party” whose financing is beholden to big money interests cannot POSSIBLY be representative of the common people, and that is true in ANY country.

      We need to abolish this nonsensical system and replace it with something more akin to the Westminster system of government. Those countries seem to be getting a little more social supports for their people, even in the midst of this worldwide austerity craze.

  6. Steve Kline on June 26, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    What kind of crap is this??? Still Blue Dog democrats, I see. If the Democratic party doesn’t come around , then neither will I come November…no vote, let Trump win, watch the country crash, then try to pick up the pieces with progressive.
    Hilary, you better wake up quick! Wasserman’s gotta go NOW

  7. JERRY NEWSOM on June 26, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    What do we have to do to get our party to listen to us??? Hillary’s people better get in line with what the majority of her party supports…didn’t they learn ANYTHING from Bernie’s success??? I’m in Colorado, a MAJOR SWING STATE & we’re going to APPROVE a healthcare bill that will cover EVERYONE in our state!!! FIX THIS, DNC…..and FAST!!!!!

    • Barbara Johnston on June 26, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Yes, that is just shameful that the Clinton delegates voted against Medicare-for-all! And couching their opposition in the words of the woman next to Rev. West, in sweet statements like yes, we all want affordable coverage for all. If you want coverage for all, you vote with the group that has the people’s best interests in mind. Shameful! To try to cover up the opposition with sneaky referrals as noted above. Thank you Dr. West, and all the other good people who voted for the original version of the improved Medicare-for-all program.

      • Liz on June 27, 2016 at 8:43 am

        I’m not surprised at all that the Clinton delegates voted against Medicare for all. Clinton is the establishment’s candidate.

    • Henry Martin on July 2, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Vermont (ironically Bernie’s state) threatened to implement a Single Payer also and the effort was watched very closely for a long time. Eventually, the (Democratic!) governor folded to the realities of our existing system, which the ACA only made worse. In short, SP simply cannot happen within the letter of the federal laws.

      Linda has it right. We the people need our own political party, one that identifies US, not THEM, who will fight for an indexed minimum wage, single payer healthcare, and hopefully a mincome of some kind. THAT sort of reality will never be recognized in a party of millionaires.

  8. JERRY NEWSOM on June 26, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    PLEASE show how the delegates VOTED???? Give us NAMES!!

    • Barbara Coulson on June 26, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Yes, I also would like to know how delegates voted. This is exactly the reason we worked so hard for Bernie Sanders and why Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be replaced. I hope Bernie refuses to campaign for Clinton unless and until his issues are made part of the platform.

    • Ben on June 26, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      All five of Bernie Sanders’s appointees on the committee voted yes: Bill McKibben, Rep. Keith Ellison, Dr. Cornel West, Deborah Parker, and James Zogby (who introduced the motion). Rep. Barbara Lee, who was appointed to the committee by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, but who is a long-time HR676 co-sponsor, also voted yes. All of the Clinton appointees and all the other Wasserman-Schultz appointees voted no.

    • Stephanie on June 27, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      I just updated the page with the names of those who voted for and against.

      YES votes:

      – Bill McKibben
      – Rep. Keith Ellison
      – Dr. Cornel West
      – Deborah Parker
      – James Zogby
      – Rep. Barbara Lee

      NO votes:

      – Carol Browner
      – Paul Booth
      – Wendy Sherman
      – Neera Tanden
      – Luis Guttierez
      – Alicia Reece
      – Bonnie Schaefer

      • BRYAN WM. BLAKELY on June 27, 2016 at 6:29 pm

        What a surprise all of the “establishment Democrats,” which HRC denies she is part of, voted against single-payer! According to Mike Fox of PDA, this is not over and will be taken to the Dem National Committee meeting in Orlando. So there is still some hope.

  9. Nancy Collins on June 26, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Cornel West nailed it: A right that cannot be accessed is useless.

  10. Esther Garvett on June 26, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    This will NEVER pass in the United States Congress. Bernie tried 9 times, and failed 9 times. Why would he insist on something that he KNOWS will NEVER pass?

  11. William Connolly on June 26, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I am disgusted with the DNC and the Clinton campaign. To oppose even trying to move to single payer, even if only gradually, speaks volumes about whom they speak for. Not for people or even rank and file Democrats. Join the rest of the industrialized world and stop acting as shills for big pharma, for prophet insurance and their Wall Street masters. I thought Max Baucus had retired. This failure and the failure to support the $15 minimum wage has convinced me to give nothing to the DNC or to the Clinton campaign. You barely have my vote.

  12. Kathy Morris on June 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    As a lifelong Democrat, I’m getting more and more frustrated and disillusioned with the status quo. Wake up to our progressive roots! Take a stand on universal health care! Listen to people like Cornel West, who tell it like it is.

  13. Jill Hinckley on June 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    The DNC appears to be corrupted by the influence of money from the healthcare industrial complex.
    This does nothing to advance the unity of the party.

  14. Peter and Gail Mott on June 26, 2016 at 2:28 pm


  15. Archee Pettlon on June 26, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I donated $$thousands to the DNC and democrats in 2010. No more. It became clear to me in Obama’s administration that the 99% are serfed. The U.S, now only rules the world through threat, not respect. I only donate to specific, progressive candidates, not that the morally bankrupt care.
    We know that Bernie got the most votes, and it was because he has the integrity, leadership, and platform 99% want.
    I would like to see a million Bernie supporters show up together, at Philly or D.C. How about a million strong march?

  16. Angela Alston on June 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    DNC, please. Listen to the 80% of us who support single payer health insurance.

    Let’s give the American people what other developed nations take for granted: basic, affordable health care.

  17. John Tovar on June 26, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    My DNC Thoughts: The old establishment has rigged the election in favor of Clinton since day one. (voter suppression by any other name or method is still voter suppression) If honesty/integrity prevailed, Sanders would have won the competition long ago. Politicians that adhere to crooked people of the One percent, are themselves crooked. It is as if the DNC now expecting us to fall in line and be happy to vote for the lesser of the two evils and by doing so, you are asking us to disregard honesty/integrity and make a deal with evil. By brashly catering to the one percent, the DNC is maintaining the status quo and trampling upon those that must needlessly suffer the consequences of the DNC being in cahoots with the one percent. To me, the DNC has become a fraud to all that I have believed in all my life and I am 77 yrs old. I will no longer support the DNC as they are no longer a party of the people. We, the people, no longer have representation in OUR Government. Over 200 years ago, there was a revolution for that very reason.

  18. Jann Cobb on June 26, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I’m speechless at the allegiance to special interests vs. the citizenry. Apparently the leadership are ignorant of the appeal of Senator Sanders and would like to lose the election to Trump. Very discougaing.

  19. Darlene Ceremello on June 26, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    “Business” as usual (literally and figuratively). As Fannie Lou Hamer said years ago at an earlier convention, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” DNC treading the slippery slope, continuing to fill its dance card with the corporate elite, and their lapdogs. Not pretty, not smart. Basta, No Mas!!!!!!

  20. Maeve Fitzgerald on June 26, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    The ACA is little more than a scam to force everyone to buy insurance–a gift to the insurance companies. I know someone who doesn’t make enough to qualify for the ACA and can’t get Medicaid because she lives in a Republican-controlled that wouldn’t accept the medicaid portion of the ACA. . .so no insurance. Something else the Democratic party and the people who support Clinton don’t seem to have considered. The Republican Congress refused to work with an African American (I speculate that they considered themselves too superior to work with an African American), what makes anyone think that they will work with a WOMAN whom they consider lower than African Americans? At this point no one knows if Democrats will be able to take over Congress. I for one will be writing in Bernie Sanders.

  21. R. Rivera on June 26, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    So is the DNC now just an arm of the GOP? The republicans suddenly gave birth the tea baggers who simply represent what the conservatives really think. It might be time to dump the DNC and start a democratic version of a “tea party”. The DNC is clearly not representing us.

  22. Cena Buchannon on June 26, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I have been collecting signatures for Single-Payer since 2006 and was extremely disappointed that this option was left out of Obamacare. Obamacare was a big step forward but, put together by a committee, it has many flaws. I supported Bernie because of his support for Single-Payer. I know it can’t be passed until the Democrats get control of Congress, and all Democrats get their hands out of the pockets of big pharma and big healthcare corporations who make obscene profits. The DNC is in danger of losing the progressive vote by failing to include this in their platform. This one issue is key to keeping a healthy productive workforce and to fixing many of our social and economic problems.

  23. Mary Reader on June 26, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I demand a re-vote, D. C. Democrats!
    Single Payer will win us votes.

  24. James T. Townsend on June 26, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    If the DNC keeps up with this kind of retrograde thinking, it will miss the boat (as it has over the last couple of decades)on the new populism, which will continue to wax into a major thread of American politics (witness the Bernie & Trump phenomenon…). The middle class wants a fair deal and apparently neither party has had the minuscule degree of acumen required to detect it.

  25. Don Hannah on June 26, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    The DNC messed up big time. This was their opportunity to show us that they were not beholden to the big money from the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. But the DNC blew it.

    Many of us recognize the ACA for what it is. The ACA is a bandaid on a gushing wound. The ACA could be more accurately described as the single payer prevention act.

    I have voted for the Democratic candidate since McGovern. But today I no longer consider myself a Democrat.

  26. T Garmon on June 26, 2016 at 4:39 pm


  27. Tom Macchia on June 26, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Thank You DNC for outing yourself, as servants of the predatory Health Care Corporations and enemies to those who seek to provide compassionate, efficient, logical healthcare to the people of the US.
    As a retired provider I can say that Big Insurance Big Pharma and for- Profit Hospitals were my adversaries in getting needed care to patients.
    When decisions are made the Democrat establishment favors the 0.01% ninety-nine percent of the time. People are waking up and they are not smelling roses! Your time has long passed. Get out of the way before you do more damage!

  28. Donna Smith on June 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    The vote was 7 to 6? Was that to appease the single-payer supporters so that would go away quietly? The DNC establishment has done its duty in commandeering the victory for HRC. We Sanders supporters who are considering voting for HRC in the general are doing so because we felt that some of Bernie’s great ideas (of which single-payer healthcare is tied for priority #1 with repeal of Citizens United) would be included in the DNC platform and supported by HRC. If this is not going to happen, many Sanders people will not vote for her! Its time for compromise; not contempt! The American taxpayers who employ and pay all the people in government are sick of not having their wishes met!

  29. Richard Mason on June 26, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Without single payer, the democratic party has no credibility.

  30. Kim Noreen Anderson on June 26, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    This is exactly why I am voting for Jill Stein for President – the platform of the Green Party is one of, by and for the people. There is a saying that “to keep on doing what you have always been doing and expecting different results is insane” or words to that effect. I switched to the Democratic Party to vote for Bernie – but will be immediately reregister for the Green Party -there is really very little difference between the people in power in the Democratic Party and the Republican Party – sadly – and mostly rhetorical

    • Sarah on June 26, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      I as well! The Democratic Party lost my support many many years ago. I re-registered back to Peace & Freedom Party after having voted as a Democrat for Bernie Sanders in the CA primaries and will now proceed with voting my values as effectively as I can in the general election by voting – Jill Stein of the GREEN PARTY for President. I have been urging others to do so, also … http://www.gp.org/platform.

      • Henry Martin on July 2, 2016 at 9:22 pm

        I didn’t bother. I registered to vote as P&F also, but did it 2 weeks before the election and got my registration card just in time. Sanders was not and will not be getting the nomination, and this little demonstration of the committee is ample evidence of how stilted the whole deal is.

  31. Mr. TERRIS FELLA on June 26, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    All America needs to wake up to single-payer, universal healthcare, like Taiwan has, and the rest of the rich industrial world. But especially the Democratic party which stands for progress and the advance of civilization. After all, what other human right is there as important as health care?

  32. al chazin on June 26, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Medicare and S.S. have augmented my pension. Without them I don’t know where I’d be. For the Tea Party delusionals reportedly saying hands off my benefits, I’d remind them the larger the pool of taxed, i.e. the broader the base, the better the benefits!

  33. Joseph DiLalla on June 26, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I am so disappointed with the DNC. Too think I once supported DWS and HRC. They are bought like the vast majority of RNC and DMC. Bernie started a movement. By the next cycle hopefully both will be irrelevant. GO BER

  34. Jeni DeMarco on June 26, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    The Revolution starts now. See you all in Philadelphia!

  35. Virginia Ryan on June 26, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Healthcare for All has to start messages via the Internet to everyone who supports Single Payer. Sen. Bernie Sanders has my email address and lots of others. Start a series of messages as has Colorado Care and send to all of us on Sen. Sanders email list. Tell everyone what they have to do to get the Democrats to endorse a Single Payer health care. As a life-long Democrat I am incensed that we are not supporting Single Payer. YOU HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE WHAT THEY MUST DO TO MAKE SINGLE PAYER A REALITY.

  36. Paul Troyano on June 26, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Why can’t DNC get single payer, Medicare for all on the platform? Are we talking money from insurance companies? Sad to say US brand of capitalism has caused collapse of what democracy we had.

  37. John Pike on June 26, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    I will not be donating to the DNC because they do not support a single payer health care system.

  38. Joan Ferrante on June 27, 2016 at 8:09 am

    It may be difficult if not impossible to get this through congress for the moment, but it is important to declare that this is the goal.

  39. Dee on June 27, 2016 at 9:22 am

    The is Corruptyour candidate is corrupt and u r all complicit in this evil corporate take over of a government paid for by the People and stollen from by the PersonHOODS who give their payrolls to the corrupted politicians like HRC. Political Revolution is what it will take and UR rigged system puts the responsibility for all death and destruction on ur corrupted souls…..

  40. Kerby Miller on June 27, 2016 at 12:31 pm


    The Democratic Party: Where Hope goes to die!

    Vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party.

  41. Mary Alice Bisbee on June 27, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    This “aspirational only” amendment is needed NOW! When else will we have a chance to spell out the real goal of Medicare for ALL or single payer health care not a “public/private partnership”??
    Keep up the good fight. It ain’t over until it is over!

  42. Lisa Knudson on June 27, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Not cool!!! Enough is enough.

  43. Kenneth Jacuzzi on June 27, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Rejecting Medicare or Healthcare for All is patently reprehensible and indefensible. It is definitively a decision which is not the best interest of the health of the American people, American enterprise or the American economy, especially in the long term. The Democratic Party is once again operating from the perspective of a muddled mindset that’s mired in the past instead of being focused on the real present needs of the American people. You have done nothing but create a Democratic version of the Republican’s circular firing squad that only can result in the eventual self-destruction of the Democratic Party. Shame on you.
    Kenneth Jacuzzi
    Paradise Valley, Arizona

  44. Theresa Welsh on June 28, 2016 at 9:58 am

    It is outrageous that the Democratic Party does not recognize the need for truly universal health care, not just “everyone must buy health insurance from for-profit companies” or pay a fine. That does not serve the public and “coverage” is not “care”. The Democrats have sold out to Big Pharma, the AMA, and the all-powerful insurance industry.
    My community (Ferndale, Michigan) is full of Bernie lawn signs. No one has taken theirs down. We must continue fighting for real reform of our so-called “health care system.” See my personal health care rant at http://www.theseekerbooks.com/articles/WhatsWrong.html

  45. Anthony Vera on June 28, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    It’s Bernie or the Green Party. The DNC is a hopeless case of political corruption.

  46. Daniel Sorkin on June 28, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I suggest offering a reasonable compromise proposal short of a nationwide single payer, get rid of every other insurance option, which I can understand the DNC platform committee seeing as too risky and expensive. How about adding a “public option” health insurance choice to the ACA, which if I recall correctly almost made it into the original bill. Also, the DNC platform could make clear that the states are permitted and even encouraged to try single payer systems on a statewide basis, which could happen in my home state of New York. I truly think this approach would be more productive than an all-or-nothing, my way or the highway position.

    • Henry Martin on July 2, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Won’t work due to adverse selection. Any “public option” will end up being another welfare program, until it too goes broke or ends up costing more than the military.

      What part of “get rid of the insurance companies” is not understood here? I see the healthcare industrial complex as a bunch of vultures circling over the bodies of the ill and dying, looking for anything that looks like edible profits.

      How can anyone, Democrat or otherwise, remain calm about this? It is unethical. ACA only extends and expands the for-profit Healthcare Industrial Complex. It is doing very little to really increase access and is costing us a mint.

      Single Payer. Period.

  47. Gerry Pieper-Ogle on June 29, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I’m fed up wit the DNC I have been a Democrat for 42 years now but I refuse to vote for Hillary and her ties to the Insurance business big money. THis was the DNC chance to unite the party once again.

    I can’t vote for Trump either so let the game begin. Cause I will no longer vote for any Democrat that will not vote and support single payer Medicare for all. I live in Illinois so you know who that means. Durbin has been trying to under mine alternative care supplements also. Trying to put them under this broken high cost get nothing bad medical care system we have.

  48. Esther Confino on July 1, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Shame on all of the no votes. Your gutlessness is an atrocity. You must know about the waste of money that the current program entails and the loss of services for many suffering because of lack of coverage or inadequacy thereof. The fact that the entire Congress failed to destroy the ACA indicates that the country is ready to support Medicare for All. How stupid are you to reject improvement in the Act that would result in monetary and human cost. I hope you lose your seats in Congress for your failure to respond to the desire of Democrats.

  49. Sue Shaw on July 6, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    What do we want?
    When do we want it?