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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).

Democratic membership:

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.

Lloyd Doggett, TX-25

Mike Thompson, CA-01

Rahm Emanuel, IL-05

Xavier Becerra, California, one of two H.R. 676 cosponsors on this subcommittee; he is running unopposed, as he did last time.

Earl Pomeroy, ND

Stephanie Tubbs Jones, OH-11, one of two H.R. 676 cosponsors on this subcommittee; at a glance, this looks like a safe seat (Cleveland).

Ron Kind, WI-03. He does not look like an ally, from his web page, which emphasizes cost containment over accessibility.

Republican membership:

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).

* Steve Gaw

* Judy Baker

* Lyndon Bode

* Ken Jacob

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.

Sources for this post: The Library of Congress THOMAS site, the House Ways and Means Committee web site, and Race Tracker.

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

that is an excellent run down and gives us a good first sift on where we need to give further attention.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

IIRC first introduced a national health care bill in 1990. He has since moved to the Constitutional ammendment approach because he views access to health care as a basic human right that should be provided a greater guarantee than just statutory law.

From his web site:

ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL ACCESS
TO QUALITY HEALTH CARE

Our wealthy and prosperous nation continues to leave 45 million people - including 8 million children - without health insurance. Every American should have affordable, quality health care coverage and expanding health care coverage to the uninsured, especially children, must be a top priority.

I've introduced a Constitutional Amendment to establish a right to health care for of equal high quality for every American. If ratified, this would force Congress to make health care coverage available to all Americans. My preferred approach to universal coverage is to build on the success of the Medicare program, which provides universal health care for our nation's seniors and people with disabilities.

Stark is a good guy. Sometimes, when he gets angry, his mouth runs ahead of his brain; nobody's perfect. Otherwise, he's a totally solid citizen.