Single-Payer to Get A Floor Vote In the Fall?

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House liberals have struck a deal with Henry Waxman to bring legislation that would establish a single-payer health care system up for a floor vote this fall, a senior House Democratic staffer tells Mother Jones. H.R. 676, a bill that would create a national single-payer system—essentially Medicare for all—has been languishing in Waxman’s Energy and Commerce committee for months. “Waxman is saying our request will be honored,” the staffer says.

The agreement came after a week of bitter in-fighting among liberal and conservative Democrats over health care. The battles were especially intense on Waxman’s committee. After the panel’s conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats successfully pressured Waxman to weaken the so-called “public option,” progressives rebelled. Fifty-seven signed a letter refusing to vote for the bill unless the concessions made to the Blue Dogs were thrown out. Late on Friday, Waxman told reporters that he had brokered a final deal that would move health care reform out of his committee.

Any vote on single-payer is likely to be symbolic, but even bringing the bill to the floor is a big step, and one that liberal pressure groups will be happy to see.

UPDATE: Politico says Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, has promised a vote on single-payer, too.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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