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What Did Single Payer Folks Get? A Vote.

Sometime shortly after this item goes up, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is supposed consider an amendment that would replace the public insurance option with a full, single-payer plan.

The amendment comes from Anthony Weiner, the New York Democrat and leading single-payer proponent. It is merely symbolic: It has no chances of passing, unless Republicans decide to support it in an effort to drag down the whole piece of legislation (in which case they may not hold the vote at all).

But Weiner and his colleagues did win another victory of sorts, according to Hill staffers. After Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman finalized his deal with Blue Dog Democrats, liberals on the committee got anxious again. Weiner used that leverage to extract, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a promise to hold a sinlge-payer vote on the floor, before the full House. It will be, apparently, the first time the whole House voted on the idea.

That too is a symbolic gesture. Single-payer is no more likely to pass the full House than it it is to pass Energy and Commerce. But having the full vote is a milestone all the same.