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Republicans for Single Payer

July 17, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

…Well, at least for a state’s right to create a single payer health care system if the so choose.

During the House Education & Labor Committee’s mark-up of the health care bill (H.R. 3200) today, Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10] proposed and passed an amendment that would remove legal barriers barring a state from creating a Medicare-like single-payer health care system to guarantee insurance for all of their citizens.

The amendment was opposed by the committee’s Democratic chairman, Rep. George Miller [D, CA-7], but 13 Republicans sided with the ultra-progressive Kucinich to help get the amendment passed.

Rep. John Kline [R, MN-2]
Rep. Thomas Petri [R, WI-6]
Rep. Howard McKeon [R, CA-25]
Rep. Peter Hoekstra [R, MI-2]
Rep. Michael Castle [R, DE-0]
Rep. Mark Souder [R, IN-3]
Rep. Vernon Ehlers [R, MI-3]
Rep. Judy Biggert [R, IL-13]
Rep. Todd Platts [R, PA-19]
Rep. Addison Wilson [R, SC-2]
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers [R, WA-5]
Rep. Tom Price [R, GA-6]
Rep. Brett Guthrie [R, KY-2]

The full roll call details can be downloaded here.

The amendment will still have to go through the Senate, and even if it passes, it might not be much more than symbolic. “Cash-strapped states likely won’t be able to rustle up the funding to cover all their residents without federal help, even if they did support the concept politically,” says Mike Lillis at the Washington Independent. The most significant effect of the amendment if it becomes law, Lillis notes, is that single-payer advocates could move their lobbying efforts away from Washington in favor of focusing on state capitols.

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  • Anonymous 07/20/2009 6:26am

    I think a major problem with state-based single-payer plans is that high cost patients will tend to migrate into states with those plans. Smaller states would be especially stressed by such a migration. A nationwide plan, of course, has everyone in the same risk pool, so it eliminates any incentive to move from one state to another.

  • Anonymous 07/20/2009 1:28pm

    The point about states will small populations is well
    taken (assuming they have small economies). However,
    except for Wall Street CEOs and their ilk—and the US’s
    elected officials—I keep looking for people who are
    satisfied with their health coverage: Medicare? Many can’t
    afford the $90.xx/month premium. Those covered by
    HMOs which override their physicians’ recommendations?

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