Single-Payer Gets A Vote In House

Published by The Hill

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.

Waxman is trying to maintain the support a number of liberals on his committee who don’t like the cuts that Waxman, the Obama administration and House leaders negotiated with centrist Blue Dog Democrats.

“I’m still not sure he has the votes,” said Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.). “Some people who said they were a yes are not supporting it.”

Legislation creating a single-payer system would be expected to lose, but would allow liberal members to record their support for the proposal. It will also be a tough vote for some Democrats who will be wary of upsetting the liberal base.

Many liberal lawmakers feel that the controversial “public option” that would compete with private insurers is a compromise from single-payer.

In another part of the deal, the House bill would allow the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices and use the savings to lower insurance premiums in the health exchanges that would be established in the bill, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Hill.

Another provision calls for finding additional savings through other methods by simplifying Medicare and Medicaid administrative costs.

The cuts sought by the Blue Dogs would remain in place unless the drug negotiation and other initiatives yield savings. But any savings would be used to lower premiums.

Rep. Weiner Introduces Amendment

Speaker Pelosi has promised to allow single payer before the entire House of Representatives


  1. Carol in Santa Clara on August 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Go Weiner!!! Go single payer!!!

  2. Scott Maiers on August 3, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I am proud to be a RN who supports single payer. This is a step in the right direction but we need to not only organize through the internet but take it to the streets. We need organizers in likes of MLK. This is the most important issue facing us.

  3. Matthew Miller on August 3, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Now that is damn right! To get it debated and voted on by the entire House is the opportunity that is needed and deserved. Now this only needs to get some mainstream media coverage so more people can hear about it!

  4. Grinrevere on August 3, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Hopefully the debate and vote for single payer on the floor will also help to do a better job than the pseudo public option in the bill and also to retain Kucinich’s amendment to maintain states rights to implement a single payer program.

  5. pamela mercier on August 3, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you so very much, Rep. Weiner.

    I have been writing to my Rep, Betty McCollum, who does not support single payer.
    She has been alerted to the fact that she will not have my vote next time if she continues her oppostion.
    I will be working to support a SP system in Minnesota next year in collaboration with our State Senator Mr. John Marty.

    Thanks again.
    The people are waking up.


  6. sandy on August 3, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    At last the Weiner the world awaited. Tom Daschle has Tommy Douglas’s initials. Anthony Weiner has Tommy Douglas’s passion and his balls.

  7. L. J. Stewart on August 4, 2009 at 10:20 am

    This is BRILLIANT. Congratulations all.
    Fire up your phone lines & contact lists. Get your friends & relatives on board to contact their representatives.
    Let’s Get It Done!
    Our Angel has taken our intention to the higher power.

  8. Doris on August 12, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Dear Rep. Weiner,
    Good for you, I am an indepent, but I commend you for trying to try to pass Bill 703, my Husband and I will support you, all that you said makes sence, keep working for the people, not the lobbyiest, put preasure on Obama to get Single Payer, I don’t have any Health care Insurance, please make sure that you mention what it will cost for a single Payer, my Husband has Medicare, but no supplement, we are seniors that live in a fixed income, we need your help, so does all the Seniors, and 48 million American that have lost everything because of Health care cost, and abuse by the whole system, and the abuse in the System, it needs to be fixed,t it is credical, as long as we fight Wars all around the World, the American People will not get anything, espeically Single Payer, the Insurance Company will fight it, Good Luck, you do have our support.

  9. Deanna McGowan on August 12, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you Rep. Weiner Americans need universal healthcare coverage for all.
    If you have already written To your Senators; and Reps; and Obama that you support HR676 and S703; now ask everyone to send their letters in support for HR676 + S703= HCR
    Thank You!

  10. Ron in Albuquerque on August 21, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    We should be calling for “Medicare for All”. That is the easiest way to explain and to implement a single-payer system.

  11. Tim Copland on August 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I don’t understand why we don’t have this on the table yet.
    The math is easy – 30% savings in our entire health care system if we take out the insurance industries. They don’t have to die, you can still buy extra insurance if you want to burn money.

    When do we MARCH ON WASHINGTON!!! I’m so disappointed Obama doesn’t get it. It’s up to us, the majority of regular, sane, grass roots Americans to make this happen.

    Can’t we make a monthly protest IN Washington? How about protesting your local FOX news propaganda station – let’s use them to make the cause more known!

    It’s so simple…
    We don’t pay private companies to take care of us if our house catches on fire.
    We don’t pay private police (though you can buy extra support) to protect our community.

    WHY on EARTH does it make sense to have to pay a monthly fee to someone who gives NOTHING in return, so that you can see a doctor when you’re sick?

  12. Ronald Moreno on August 22, 2009 at 9:45 am

    single payer for all. YES, it’s time. Costs have gone without controls. I hope Bush pays for his sins

  13. Marliss Rogers on August 22, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Thanks to all who have supported HR676 (Single Payer) and helped bring it to the floor of Congress. Let’s continue to pressure our representatives to give this plan full debate. Medicare for all!

  14. Sirpa Cossaboon on August 23, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you Gonressman Weiner! Keep up the great work!

  15. dixie stanton on August 30, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Absolutely, single payer. And thank you Congressman Weiner. Single payer is such an obvious solution to a complex issue.

  16. Nancy Champion on September 1, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Where is the “transparency” with Obama telling the American people that if they like their current health care plan, they can keep it? With single-payer, I will no longer have that option! So his platform is completely dishonest and misleading. By the way, your percentage of those in favor of single-payer does not match up with the latest Rasmussen polls. How come? I (and many Americans) don’t want the government messing around with my health care benefits. Listen to the majority of Americans and leave us alone!

    • Healthcare-NOW! on September 2, 2009 at 8:45 am

      Obama does not support single-payer, he supports a public option, so there’s the transparency.

      As for polls, new results show that two-thirds of Americans don’t understand the health reform proposals, and a good portion believe lies about the proposals that are out there.

    • Sandy Russel on September 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm

      Well, that’s nice and compassionate of you. I guess that’s the “I got my healthcare, so everybody else can sink or swim based on their ability to pay and if they can’t pay, I don’t care.” attitude. It’s people who think like you that give all Americans a bad name, especially overseas.

    • Bonnie Carpenter on September 13, 2009 at 12:10 pm

      Dear Nancy,

      How about a proposal that offers Medicare to all and the option also remains open for those to stay with their Health insurance companies
      if that is their desire.

      That way you don’t have to go with the govt. plan and down the road should your health insurance company deny you for some reason or you lose your job due to illness and can’t afford your monthly insurance premium you have the safety net of Medicare.

  17. Paul Roden on September 11, 2009 at 7:16 am

    I think it is time for demonstrations at every administrative office of health insurance,pharmaceutical company and their lobbyist offices on K Street in DC. If people show how much money has been given by these groups to the Congress and Obama, they will hopefully wake up and demand single payer. It the people who have lost their health insurance demand coverage at these “death panel assurers” offices and get arrested when they don’t get the care they need, they will be able to get care in jail. Either way we win. It will be a classic “dilemma demonstration.” We need to keep the pressure on and paint a picture. And if the MSM doesn’t cover it we need to video the actions ourselves and post it on YouTube.

    • Bonnie Carpenter on September 13, 2009 at 12:18 pm

      I like this Paul except I am no where near Washington DC and have a job to maintain and a kid to support. How about some offices in San Franciso? I will have to check this out. IT would be good to also locate the corporate PR firms that are putting out the bogus pr junk for big dollars.
      Too bad the media is controlled for the most part by all these corporations…we have to be stronger as we are presently operating in a media vacuum. But yes we do have you tube.
      I like your dark humor about healthcare in jail. Although i’ve heard that healthcare in prison has been failing also as some prisoners are dying needlessly for lack of care here in the overcrowded prisons of Calif.

    • Bonnie Carpenter on September 13, 2009 at 12:26 pm

      I have one better. What if we could get at least 30% of Americans as a powerful protest, to STOP PAYING INTO THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES.

      IN AMERICAN MONEY TALKS !!! WE forget we do have the power. We hold the “purse’ so to speak.

      How do we get that started. I am willing to cancel my kaiser tomorrow!!
      for the greater cause for all Americans getting health care.


  18. Toni Vafi on September 11, 2009 at 8:07 am

    The Administration forced Single Payer off the table and Americans were not allowed information on how Single Payer would work. Nurses and Doctors were arrested, handcuffed, booked and fined for asking that
    Single Payer be put on the table. Obama remained silent. Fine democracy we have here. A debate on Single Payer will allow at least some realistic light to be shed on the topic. Thank you Congressman Weiner. We seem to have a few congresspersons who still believe their duty is to represent the people.

  19. terr badger on September 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    How much would it cost a person to buy into Medicare? That is, if all 46 million uninsured people wanted (or could) buy into Medicare how much would it cost them for a year?

    • Sandy Russel on September 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm

      It shouldn’t cost them a dime!!! We already collect enough in Federal taxes in this country to cover every man, woman and child in America by just slashing bloated Defense spending (that takes up 2/3rds of the entire Federal budget) by only 10-15%. That’s right folks… take the money away from the warhawks who promote violence, death and destruction overseas and put that tax money to work for the betterment of living people instead.

  20. Andrew D Hood on September 11, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Single payer is just the common sense system to use. It cost tens of billions of dollars less, provides quality medical treatment for all. eliminates the unaccountable private health insurance industry bureaucracy tons of paper work currently overloading both medical providers and patients. The US Congress gets federal government funded health care at taxpayers’ expense, and then the right wing phonies who get this, turn around vote against this for the American people.

    Let’s start talking about how phony it is for those we elect to get comprehensive health care that they vote against for the folks out here. Meanwhile people die with the rip off we have.

  21. caroldudeck on September 11, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Support Rep Anthony Weiner’s amendment to HR3200. It makes the most sense of any of the suggestions. The Dems just need some guts to pass it!

    Where are all the patriots?

  22. Terrance Newton on September 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I think the bottom line is that toomany in this country are so used to capitalism, exploitation, and greed that we feel something enormous is missing in our lives unless we are gaining sometime at the expense of our neighbor.

    It’s almost like some kind of disease. Europe and South America are moving away from our free market exploitation. China and India appear to have learned from out mistakes and are combining the best of all systems.

    The rest of the world seem to have realized that you shouldn’t put a price tag on certain things. Health care is one of them. We are born with good health. While should the insurance companies and the pharmaceiticals be allowed to make us pay a steep primium for our own health. I don’t see a difference in paying a primium for clean water, safety, education, and other god given rights.

    Personally, I have decided to rely on myself to a large extent. I feel that eating meat is the single biggest cause of our ailments. Watching your food consumption, all getting proper exercise will prevent the need for even going to see a doctor. We should have some kind of health insurance, but having to use it except in an emergency, to me demonstrate that we are not really taking care of our health.

  23. elsie osinski on September 11, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    MEDICARE FOR ALL single party payer iagree totally a registered nurse with a masters degree,istudied public health in norway for an entire summer.

  24. Thomas L. Carroll on September 11, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    How would you vote if you were given 1 or 2 million dollars, and on the Senate finance committee?
    How would you vote if the Health lobby had given millions would you fool your base act like you hated the insurance company?

    People better start asking questions, blind support is simply being Blind.

  25. Carol Scher on September 11, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you Rep. Anthony Weiner, Rep Dennis Kucinich, and Senator Bernie Sanders for offering single payer plans into this health care debate. Although a single payer plan should have been “on the table” from the beginning, perhaps people are more willing to discuss this option now. People understand and love Medicare. Medicare-for-All would have an overhead of 3% compared to the more than 30% overhead and profit by the insurance industry. This would be a huge savings to the American people, as Rep Weiner pointed out. A flat tax (of say 6 or 7%) of income (with no caps) could be enacted to pay for it. Take it out of the payroll tax, thus taking it off the backs of businesses, which should please Republicans and conservative Democrats. Insurance companies could still offer supplemental insurance. Everyone covered, no pre-existing conditions, no deductibles, everyone who can pays something affordable toward it.

  26. Jerry Collins on September 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Anthony Weiner is my hero. This has been pushed around until it has all but vanished from the minds of a lot of Americans. Don’t be fooled by those that hope this will just go away with time and false rhetoric. We need “SINGLE PAYER” and should settle for nothing less. Go Anthony, GO!!!!!

  27. Deanna Jewell on September 12, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    As an older uninsured American, I am definately for the single payer system! Under the current wealthcare system, a person in their 50’s pays $300.00-$350.00 a month. If I earned $7.50 an hour, that would be 25%-30% of my income. Where if we had the single payer system, and lets say I paid 5% (probably the rich don’t pay that large of percentage-but we will use it) of my income, I would pay only $60 a month. Much more affordable. No wonder 20% of this nation is uninsured! The current system is too expensive and I feel unfair for the working poor. It may be profitable but it is not fair!

  28. Bonnie Carpenter on September 13, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Sharing = Peace = Justice

    It is time for single payer so that all our people are taken care of equally and with great love and respect no matter their station in society. IT is sharing the wealth of our Nation for the betterment of all our people.
    Humanity and our immediate communities will never know peace nor justice as long as our fellow brothers and sisters here and abroad suffer from hunger, wars, lack of healthcare, proper shelter and quality education for all members of our communities and Nations.

    This is the basic Christ teachings and these are the times when the people are awakening to these Laws of Life and are beginning to demand
    change that calls for the end to wars and solutions to end the suffering of humanity. Solutions to hunger and the millions that die daily, needlessly, due to the greatest sin of all: complacency by those who hold the wealth while millions live in dire poverty on the edge of starvation in a world of plenty.

    A good start for change in America is for all Americans to have medicare. With citizens not having to pay 500 to 1000 to 15oo or more per month for their family healthcare, they can put that money into their savings,or towards a home, education, emergencies, travel to other cultures, community service here or abroad.

    Imagine the wealth that pours into insurance companies now staying in the pockets of each American family to free them up to make a difference in their communites, to get out of debt, to handle their illness in a stress free environment where the hospital and doctors can work towards their health without the ok or denial of a corporation.

  29. Doug on September 14, 2009 at 9:28 am

    With two adult chidren with undiagnosed and untreated chronic health conditions we are facing bankruptcy. 50% to 70% of my wife’s federal take home pay is dedicated to copays and out of pocket expenses. Representative’s Weiner’s efforts are greatly appreciated by middle class America.

  30. Sean Sardari, CPE on October 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    If the member of congress and their families can enjoy the option plan that allows them to choose their healthcare, why couldn’t the people that voted them into office have the same thing?

  31. Lisa W. on October 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Greed and ignorance are getting in the way of a single payer system.

    Thanks, Anthony Weiner, for fighting an uphill battle on our behalf.