View Full Version : Media Wow, the House will actually vote on single-payer.

09-22-2009, 09:30 PM
Pelosi struck a deal with the progressives, and unlike her deal with centrists, she's holding her end of the bargain on this one.

Liberals will finally get their vote on single-payer in the House.

Now, of course it has a snowball's chance here, but it'll be interesting to see if anybody other than the hardcore liberals sign onto it.

I'll be particularly interested in Pelosi's vote, to be honest.


Liberals Will Get Single-Payer Vote on House Floor
Published on Saturday, August 1, 2009 by The Hill
by Mike Soraghan

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.

09-22-2009, 09:31 PM
According to Ezra Klein, the CBO will be scoring it soon.

09-22-2009, 09:31 PM
Useless, but cool.

09-22-2009, 09:33 PM
Useless, but cool.

Probably. And yes.

Honestly, I think this just allows single-payer to get the formal bill treatment, including a CBO score and every member of the House on the record.

Taco John
09-22-2009, 09:35 PM
What's the deal with the article date?

09-22-2009, 09:40 PM
I saw the link today on TNR for the first time -- it's possible this is old news.

09-23-2009, 07:20 AM
Not quite as reported....looks like Nan pulled a fast one. How do you say "Backfire"?

Pelosi backs away from deal with Blue Dogs
By Mike Soraghan - 09/22/09 05:03 PM ET
Speaker Pelosi is backing away from a deal she cut with centrists to advance health reform, said a source familiar with talks.

Pelosi’s decision to move away from the agreement that was made with a group of Blue Dogs to get the bill out of committee would steer the healthcare legislation back to the left as she prepares for a floor vote.

Pelosi is planning to include a government-run public option in the House version of the healthcare bill. She wants to model it on Medicare, with providers getting reimbursed on a scale pegged to Medicare rates.

"The speaker is full-steam-ahead," said a senior Democratic aide.

But a Pelosi aide said nothing is final, and the proposal to revert to the more left-leaning version of the language would be vetted before the entire Democratic Caucus.

Blue Dog Democrats, many of whom represent rural districts where Medicare reimbursement rates are low, vehemently oppose tying the public option to Medicare.

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) and a group of fellow Blue Dogs had negotiated a deal with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) in July that would remove the link to Medicare. Under that plan, officials with the government-run plan would negotiate individually with providers.

That move, which drew howls of protest from liberal members, prevented the bill from getting stuck in committee. But Ross returned from the August break saying he couldn't support a public option under any circumstances, essentially withdrawing his support for the deal.

Pelosi is now effectively withdrawing her support. In leadership meetings last week, she said the public option in the House bill should be linked to Medicare.

Other Blue Dogs involved in the deal have said they realized the public option they negotiated was likely to change before it went to the floor.

Pelosi has also told her fellow leaders she still wants an income surtax on the wealthy, rather than a tax on "Cadillac" health plans, as a means to help pay the $1 trillion cost of the bill. The rest is to be made up with savings in Medicare by eliminating wasteful spending.

That will worry many members who led the charge against the surtax when it was rolled out.

Pelosi wants decisions on the public option and tax this week. She wants to produce a bill that will be a starting point for negotiations among the disparate and, at times, warring factions of the Democratic Caucus.

"The Speaker is committed to having a strong public option in the House bill because it is the best way to promote competition, control cost and keep the insurance companies honest," said Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami. "The caucus continues to meet to discuss the legislation and its provisions."

Democrats are to discuss the public option at a caucus meeting Thursday. That discussion will include replacing the public option with nonprofit "cooperatives" that would compete with private insurers but would not be run by the government. A Senate Finance Committee bill has a similar provision.

The Blue Dogs chose the member who will present the co-op proposal.

Both the public option and cooperatives are intended to compete with private insurers in an attempt to drive down costs. Blue Dogs have also supported making the government-run plan a fallback option if other reforms in the bill don't lower healthcare costs.