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Senate Rejects Single-Payer Healthcare

by Countable | 7.27.17

A Senate amendment to enact a single-payer healthcare system identical to the plan supported by a majority of House Democrats failed to gain the vote of a single senator on Thursday.

Introduced by Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), the amendment contained the exact text of Rep. John Conyers’ (D-MI) Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which is backed by 115 of the House’s 194 Democrats. Daines offered the amendment to put senators on the record over their support for government-run healthcare even though he opposes the idea himself, telling his colleagues that it’s "time to fish or cut bait."

However, the Senate Democratic caucus largely refused to bite. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called Daines’ amendment a "political gimmick" because the Montanan didn’t plan to vote for it himself. Sanders said he would only vote for the bill if six or seven Republicans also did so, otherwise he would vote “present.” He suggested other Democratic senators do the the same.

Sanders added that he will introduce a Senate version of the single-payer healthcare plan in the future.

Of the Democratic caucus’s 48 senators, 43 took Sanders up on that suggestion and voted present, but five decided to go on record against the House’s single-payer healthcare plan. The five who voted against it were Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Angus King (I-ME) — all but King face reelection in 2018 in states won by President Donald Trump last year.

Tell your lawmakers what you think of single-payer healthcare using the Take Action button.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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  • Diane
    07/27/2017
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    It's time for single payer healthcare. Stop accepting big money from health insurers and big pharma and do what is right for the American people. Single payer is not socialism. It is the right of every citizen to have good, affordable healthcare!

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  • Judith
    07/28/2017
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    Yes to single payor! In addition, until we have single payor, multistate corporations should not be allowed to "state-shop" for the states with the cheapest barebones benefits packages just so they can say they provide benefits for their employees.

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  • Monica
    07/27/2017
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    It is time for a single payer system! Hear our voices!

    Like (33)
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  • Peggy
    07/27/2017
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    A single-payer system is the only way we are going to get a handle on healthcare costs and provide quality healthcare to all Congress needs to stop excepting big donations from the 40s zero companies and from the insurance companies. They need to do what's best for Americans

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  • Jack
    07/28/2017
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    Winston Churchill supposedly said "America always does the right thing, but only after it has tried everything else." We'll get to universal health care one way or another, eventually, either on a state by state basis like a Canada did or incrementally by first lowering the Medicare age to 55. Now that ACA repeal has failed let's see what fixes congress can put in. The best fix would be a public option, a Medicare buy-in available to all ages and income levels along with a stronger individual mandate that actually compels everyone to carry insurance. As much as people hate the mandate, it is the glue that holds the ACA together and keeps down premiums. How about assigning people to Medicaid if they fail to purchase private insurance? They can pay for it with mandatory payroll deductions instead of a penalty. Now there's an idea who's time has come.

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  • Phillip
    07/27/2017
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    Do not weaken the ACA or Medicaid. The ACA is doing its job, but has weaknesses that need to be fixed. It is time for bipartisan participation focused on fixing (not repealing in whole or even in part) the ACA.

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  • Tim
    07/27/2017
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    It is time for America to join the civilized world and guarantee health care for all. A single payer system is the way to go.

    Like (17)
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  • Sherri
    07/27/2017
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    Every single member of congress, whether they are republican or democrat, who does not vote for single-payer, will be voted out. The American people have had enough of the government not spending OUR MONEY on what we want.

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  • Suzi
    07/28/2017
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    I support ACA with improvements or single payer healthcare as proposed by Bernie Sanders.

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  • Judith
    07/28/2017
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    IT IS HIGH TIME FOR SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE FOR ALL AMERICANS !!!! IT IS ALSO HIGH TIME TO GET RID OF ANY AND ALL CONGRESS PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE THAT OPPOSE IT !!!!

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  • Kyle
    07/27/2017
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    This is what we want. We want single-payer healthcare. Please do what the country wants.

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  • NoHedges
    07/27/2017
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    Just another reminder why we need to pass the Anti-Corruption Act. We can't trust anything that comes from government. We must constantly be on the look out to protect protect the interests of those that matter to us. Nothing in the country is safe from being raped but politics. Not our children, nor our parents/grandparents, not even our right to learn. Maybe the destruction of the environment isn't so bad after all. I mean by the time it is all said and done, who will want to live in this once great nation. Certainly not the wealthy elites, there will be no one left to serve them. Government says we need more capitalism, less government oversight and encourage corporate growth to refuel our stalled economy. I say we need an alternative fuel source one of more socialism: taking care of others, decreasing inequality, getting people trained and working. Problem is those running the government are keenly aware of the fact they they do not need the will of the people; only the will of the 1%.

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  • Denise
    07/28/2017
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    Single Payer (wtf?) so the government can start ordering the death of babies anytime they dont want to pay for a surgery, or when they dont want to admit that another country might have a better life saving treatment, like they just did in England. No thanks! I like my freedom to seek out the best treatment and the best surgeons!

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  • Tom
    07/27/2017
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    Stick to the message that put the Republican Party into power; repeal the ACA, then work on market driven solutions to reform Healthcare; the Veterans Administration (a prime example of a single payer system) is not a good model.

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  • Baron
    07/28/2017
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    It's time we hire the Germans to run our single payer healthcare system. They are great at this type of organization and they're honorable people.

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  • A
    07/28/2017
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    If you actually were fiscally conservative, you would support universal healthcare. It would cost American taxpayers LESS than what we spend on the government subsidies to private insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid programs. Single payer is more fiscally conservative AND you would guarantee that all Americans would equally be able to live.

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  • Karen
    07/28/2017
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    I strongly support single- payer health insurance. Do your best to support this please!! Thank you!! Karen Sollom. Minnesota

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  • Mary
    07/28/2017
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    Why is there no mention by either party of putting a cap on what Big Pharma can charge for drugs? The disparity between what private hospitals charge for common surgeries is pathetic. I had 4 disks fused in 2012. It is a common procedure. My insurance co paid $60,000 for a 24 hr stay in the hospital. 3 hrs away in Denver the average charge is $12,000 for spinal fusions. My insurance co never considered whether I was willing to have it done in Denver. Sure they would have had to pay my expenses of a plane ticket but that would have been a drop in the bucket. Privatization of hospitals and taking control over what doctors can do is not the least bit helpful. It smacks of greed on all fronts at our expense. Obamacare would not be near the enormous expense if congress wrote legislation to cap Pharma and place a standard of care on hospitals so they have to operate within reason when charging for common surgeries. Let's make health insurance affordable without spending billions of taxpayer money.

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  • Ginny
    07/27/2017
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    We are overdue for single payer. All advanced countries in the world have universal health care! What is wrong with America? Do not be fearful of taking the leap!

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  • Liberalbeater
    07/28/2017
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    The idea of SPHC is a terrible one, and it does not work. Do you truly trust the government with your healthcare? To allocate resources to everyone's needs? The government can hardly manage a post office.

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