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In a largely unnoticed vote late last week, 13 small government-conservatives backed legislation that could facilitate the emergence of major government-run health care entities.

In an exquisite political irony, 13 Republicans on the House Education and Labor Committee offered their support for an amendment that allowed states to set up single-payer health care systems.

The amendment to the committee's health care bill allows states to essentially opt out of a national public health insurance option if they set up a single-payer alternative that meets similar standards for coverage. Offered by one of Congress's foremost liberals, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), the legislation enables a system progressives have long desired.

So why would 13 House Republicans, after bemoaning Democratic plans for public health care for months, attach their names to the provision?

Answer Question

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 7:38 PM on Jul. 31, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • Depending on who you ask, it's either a philosophical belief in states' rights or childish political shenanigans.

    According to those who followed the vote closely, Republicans on the committee were eager to put potentially vulnerable freshmen Democrats -- particularly those from traditionally conservative districts -- on the spot. One plugged-in aide said the GOP lawmakers were "laughing and giggling" throughout the voting process.

    But the amendment actually passed, after a host of veteran Democrats on the committee sided with Kucinich. The final tally was 27 Representatives in favor and 19 opposed, with two lawmakers not voting at all. Just how screwy was the vote? Education and Labor Chairman Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) voted against the legislation despite being a co-sponsor of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) bill to set up a national single-payer health care system.

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 7:38 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • Since then, some of the supportive Republicans have spun their votes as being in support of a states' rights, even though Democrats on the committee insist that was never their intention.

    The amendment has the potential to trip up the GOP as the health care debate continues. The text could end up being in the House's final product, once it is merged with the version produced by the Energy and Commerce Committee. And when Republicans claim government bureaucrats will infringe upon the rights of consumers, Democrats will have a solid retaliatory point: 13 GOP lawmakers voted to allow single-payer plans.
    In a conference call on Friday, Rep. Miller made direct reference to the amendment as a means of asserting that Republicans weren't honest participants in the health care debate. As one high-ranking Democratic aide in the House put it:

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 7:39 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • "This amendment would allow states to opt out of the exchange and set up their own single-payer plan. Even if they made the states' rights argument -- would that really trump Republicans' opposition to the 'government' run health plan they've been so adamant against through this entire debate?"

    Thought it was only socialists and commy lovin democrats that wanted this???

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 7:40 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • Rep. John Kline (Minnesota)
    Rep. Tom Petri (Wisconsin)
    Rep. Buck McKeon (California)
    Rep. Peter Hoekstra (Michigan)
    Rep. Mike Castle (Delaware)
    Rep. Mark Souder (Indiana)
    Rep. Vernon Ehlers (Michigan)
    Rep. Judy Biggert (Illinois)
    Rep. Todd Platts (Pennsylvania)
    Rep. Joe Wilson (South Carolina)
    Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington)
    Rep. Tom Price (Georgia)
    Rep. Brett Guthrie (Kentucky)

    Tea party at their homes???????

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 7:41 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • link? other then huffington post please

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:45 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • Republicans will eventually have to be called to the mat for these snarky, cynical games. Hopefully right around election time.

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 7:56 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • I am with anon first i'd like a link other then from huffpo they are worse then msnbc or any of them.

    Answer by tnmomofive at 8:11 PM on Jul. 31, 2009


    There is also a link to the actual bill.

    The article states, "The America’s Affordable Health Choices Act is consistent with President Obama’s overall goals of building on what works within the current health care system by strengthening employer-provided care, while fixing what is broken. The bill will ensure that 97 percent of Americans will be covered by a health care plan that is both affordable and offers quality, standard benefits by 2019. "

    "The Education and Labor Committee passed H.R. 3200 on July 17, 2009; the Ways and Means Committee passed H.R. 3200 on July 17, 2009; the Energy and Commerce Committee is currently marking up H.R. 3200.)"

    The source, BTW, is the committee's homepage.

    Answer by LiliM at 8:30 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • stacymomof2
    Republicans will eventually have to be called to the mat for these snarky, cynical games. Hopefully right around election time.

    My thoughts exactly. They couldn't work with the pres on this? Oh of course not.

    Answer by LiliM at 8:37 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • I wish the government would just keep their nose OUT of our health-care! They'll screw it up like they do everything else they meddle in!


    Answer by MemawBrie at 9:36 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

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