Today's Ladies' Auxiliary single-payer post
In addition to the Health Subcomittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, H.R. 676 is before the Health Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, and it has also been referred to the Natural Resources Committee. The Ways and Means Health Subcommittee is the subject of this post.
Executive summary: unlike DCBLogger, who pointed out two HR676-supporting challengers in PA, I didn't turn up any races of definite interest. There are a couple that may bear watching to see if any more information turns up. I did stumble over Pete Stark's surprising constitutional amendment (see below).
Pete Stark, CA13, Chairman. Startlingly, although he's not a co-sponsor of H.R. 676, he has introduced a Constitutional Amendment to "establish a right to health care of equal high quality for every American."
He also introduced the "AmeriCare Health Insurance Act of 2006" in July 2006, a mixed public-private universal system. The bill had 36 cosponsors, including some of the same people who cosponsor H.R. 676. It was referred to three committees but no other action was taken; he re-introduced it in the 110th Congress in March 2007, when it attracted 31 cosponsors and was referred to the same three committees.
He is obviously strong on health issues, including defending Medicare from the privatizers. I wonder what it would take to get him on board for single-payer.
Xavier Becerra, California, one of two H.R. 676 cosponsors on this subcommittee; he is running unopposed, as he did last time.
Dave Camp, Michigan. Opposed by Andrew D Concannon
Sam Johnson, Texas. Opposed by Tom Daley
Jim Ramstad, Minnesota. The status of this race is unclear. It seems on first glance that Ramstad is not running. The Democratic candidate is Ashwin Madia.
Phil English, PA-03. He has two challengers, an independent who appears to be a bit over the edge, and a Democrat, Kathy Dahlkemper. This might be an interesting race, given that the independent, Porter, got 42% of the vote two years ago. The Democrat doesn't seem to support single payer, but does support "universal" care, so this one might be worth putting some effort into. The district runs from Erie, PA through Meadville down to Butler.
Kenny C. Hulshof, Missouri. He is running for governor, so this seat is open. There are four Democrats competing in a primary to be held August 5th. I haven't found enough information to have an opinion about any of them, except Lyndon Bode, who is pro-life and "for a strong military" (whatever that means).
Unlike DCBlogger's examination of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, this data doesn't seem to offer any indications of important races. However, Pete Stark looks like a person of interest for the cause.
On another note, a Thomas search on H.R. 676 shows no subcomittee or committee hearings or markup sessions ever. I take this as a sign that either the committee and/or subcommittee chairs want the bill to die, and/or they know the votes are not there, and they don't want to spend time working on a bill that isn't going anywhere before the next Congress. If any knowledgeable person has a comment on that inference, I'd love to see it.