BREAKING: Democrats endorse single payer!

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

This is for real.

When it finally came time for the Committee to meet and vote the result was almost anti-climactic. Jack Hanna, the Chair of the Rules Committee said that there that there was “great concensus in support of this resolution” and urged that the entire membership be permitted to consider it.” Democratic Chair T.J. Rooney shepherded the resolution to the floor, and in seconds it was over. The resolution was passed by acclamation.

Of course, if you haven’t figured it out already, this is limited to Pennsylvania.  That, however, doesn’t make it any less exciting.  My state is moving closer and closer to passing single payer, as this excellent history of recent developments in the statewide movement explains.

It had been a good year for Single-Payer in Pennsylvania already. HealthCare4ALLPA, the organization leading the fight (full disclosure: the author is an unpaid officer of that organization and an unpaid member of the Board of Directors) to enact single-payer healthcare in the Keystone State. Our Bill, HB 1660 and SB 400 was picking up steam (one blogger, in describing the scope of the bill, observed “you will never see a more comprehensive plan.”), and had been endorsed by City Councils in Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, West Reading, and Wilkes Barre, as well as by the Allegheny County Council. Together those councils represent more than 3 million people, about a quarter of the population of Pennsylvania. A study of the cost of employee healthcare benefits paid by the combined governments and school boards within our state had documented a savings of nearly $2.3 billion dollars if the bill werer passed, and the study was getting noticed. Our quest for funds to commission an Economic Impact Study that would validate the benefits of instituting our bill were beginning to bear fruit. In October more than a thousand people — primarily from all over Pennsylvania, but augmented by advocates from Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio and even Washingtron State who journeyed to Harrisburg in a show of solidarity — gathered in the Capitol Rotunda on a Tuesday workday morning to demonstrate for the passage of our bill.

As I wrote about here, the bill for statewide single payer had a hearing late last year.  Not only that, but the hearing was led by Republican State Senator Don White, and that’s not even the full extent of the bipartisan support of this.  And Governor Ed Rendell has also pledged to sign the bill!  And all five Democratic candidates for governor have expressed support of the bill!  And both Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak have said that they intend to introduce bills in Congress that would end ERISA and make it much easier for states to establish single payer systems!

A lot of this exciting stuff, including the unanimous endorsement of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee, all happened this past weekend at the Winter Meeting of the Pennsylvania Democratic Committee.  This is an exciting movement for the single payer movement in Pennsylvania.  In the words of Jerry Policoff, “It had gone mainstream.”

And it’s the result of an independent political movement that supports a specific agenda, not a candidate or a party.  We do not gain support by raising money for candidates or threatening to stop our support.  The movement for fundamental health care reform is real and growing in Pennsylvania, and it’s done through community outreach, media outreach, and utilizing the will of the people:  Pennsylvanians – and most Americans – want quality health care, not health insurance.

You can support this exciting movement by going to HealthCare4AllPA.org and donating or contacting your state legislators (if you’re in Pennsylvania) or going more in depth and becoming part of the movement.  Personally, I might be trudging through snow tomorrow to get a petition signed supporting the bill…

3 comments

  1. You had my heart skipping there for a moment.

    • dkmich on February 10, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I’m amazed.  They’re dead in DC and in MI.   Glad to hear your good news.  Obama so pisses me off.  

  2. Was the analogy of catching the Leprechaun and winning his pot of gold.  Leprechauns can be wise guys so he magically implants the pot in your stomach so you can’t spend it.

    Why do I think this way?  Well I saw yet another swine flu commercial this morning and it brought me back to pondering that real threat of having to hurt people to escape the swine flu road stop Gestapo checkpoints proposed up in many states.  These Nazi fucks are still in government just as sure as my wife’s friends child is now agressive and autistic.

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