Senate Clerk Now Reading Single-Payer Amendment
At around noon ET, the Senate Clerk began reading the text of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) single-payer amendment. The reading of amendments is usually waived during debate, but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) requested the reading of the complete Sander’s text.
Go HERE to watch, or turn on C-Span2 on your television.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who is also a physician, has just set into motion the reading of an entire 767-page amendment on the Senate floor. Typically, “the reading” is waived, but Coburn objected, which is his right.
Republican sources say this is an intentional use of the procedures to slow down the bill. Reading this amendment could, by GOP estimates, take until midnight.
Senior aides say, “If we need to lay down in traffic to stop the bill we would.”
A Senate clerk is now reading the text aloud. This is an amendment to the healthcare bill designed to create a “single payer” alternative to health care. A single-payer option is favored by the most liberal wing of the Democratic Party but has never been considered politically viable. This amendment is offered by Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders.
The clerks will rotate the reading duties.
Coburn released a statement on his action:
“I admire Senator Sanders for his willingness to fight for publically (sic) what many advocate only privately — a single payer health care system funded and controlled by bureaucrats and politicians in Washington. Every American should listen to the reading of this amendment and pay careful attention to its vote tally.”
The statement also notes that Coburn, along with Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Reps. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA), introduced in May his own health-related bill: the Patients’ Choice Act:
“The American people deserve to understand the competing approaches to reform in the U.S. Senate. It’s unfortunate that Senator Reid waited until the last minute to introduce his bill and now wants to rush it through the Senate. This reading will provide a dose of transparency that has been lacking in this debate.”