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Single Payer Gold Standard HR 676 Rest in Peace

Single Payer Gold Standard HR 676 Rest in Peace

Russell Mokhiber

HR 676, the gold standard single payer legislation for the past sixteen years, is no longer.

The House Democrats have decided that their single payer Medicare for All bill will not carry the HR 676 number.


Did anyone hear Con. Jayabal’s future campaign checks going boeing, boeing, boeing as they bounced around Seattle and Chicago? Well, we can sure as hell hear them bounce in Portland, 175 miles away from the epicenter of the MIC.
And, Con. Panetta has the grace, sensitivity and timing of a three-peckered billygoat.


This BS should NOT be allowed to stand. The Democratic congress critters should be informed immediately to change it back, and tell Jayapal to shove her version up her corporate owned ass, if not, they WILL be primaried their next election.

This kind of BS is exactly why many of us here have tried to tell the rest of you, and get you to leave, the Dem party will screw you. You can count on it !


Being stabbed in the back doesn’t qualify as “essential surgery”


(I didn’t mean to reply to @unlikelysource - this is a reply to the article - can’t figure out how to edit that change)

I am not automatically opposed to for-profit providers in the final passed bill, but I agree that there is no reason to water down the former HR676. (I am automatically opposed to any role for private insurance). For example, the hospital in Canada where Rand Paul is getting his surgery is a private for-profit provider (https://nationalpost.com/health/pioneering-for-profit-surgery-clinic-sold-for-14-million).

But I am for transparency. Here is what I wrote my rep (Ted Lieu)

There have been a number of stories I’ve read now on Pramila Jayapal’s effort to rewrite HR676 and given you are a cosponsor on this bill and given she does not accept email outside her district perhaps you can shed some light into what is going on. Why is she refusing to let Single Payer advocates see the bill? (e.g. https://www.singlepayeraction.org/2018/12/18/advocates-call-on-jayapal-to-release-draft-text-of-house-single-payer-bill/). I find this behavior reprehensible and it is why so many of us don’t like politicians - we want transparency. I understand the benefit of having a unified Senate and House bill ready to go, but if compromises are made on the House bill (as it sounds like they are), then at a very minimum we should be allowed to find out what they are and voice our opposition if needed before the bill gets finalized. I don’t really know how much of a Single Payer advocate you are (I know you signed on early to HR676), but I hope you are either as concerned as we are or are at least sensitive to our concerns.

Another sponsor needs to be found who will bring to the floor the original National Improved Medicare for All. Sorry to see the number go but it is the bill itself, not the number that matters. Con Jayabal can bring her very compromised version to the floor right beside the Gold Standard and force each House member to show their true colors. Perhaps, this will pressure the masses into looking more closely at the National Improved Medicare for All and better understand what is truly at stake.


I beg you not to get drawn into click-bait idiocy, which is what this article is. A bill will be posted, just like HR 676 was, after its author drafts it and introduces it. This is what happens with every stand-alone bill and its been that way for 200 plus years.

The original bill was introduced a month after the 2003 Congressional session began, on February 11, 2003. Its author, John Conyers, didn’t give formal introductory remarks on it though until June of that year. Was that a crisis of secrecy at the time? The year before, he introduced two bills, HR 2627 and HR 1142, that expanded Medicaid coverage to basically all citizens without health insurance. Was it a horrendous act of subterfuge that HR 676 was numbered differently than his previous two bills? Was there outrage over a common and typical legislative process? Why did he draft HR 676 in secrecy then introduce it to committee where it was publicly posted with a bunch of other pieces of legislation?

Legislation gets reintroduced all the time in every legislature across the nation with different numbers. It is a regular and normal occurrence. Moreover, it’s quite possible, when the new bill is introduced, it will be better than HR 676 too, just like HR 676 was an improvement over Conyers’s previous bills. It may actually include concrete financing measures, for example. Moreover, it has to go through committee, multiple committees, which will take time.

The article is pure click-bait. It’s playing on ignorance to stir people up over nonsense.

Yes; but, the article also states that

Like public hospitals, it also receives yearly funding from the province, and medicare fees for services offered by its doctors.

…more than 90% of its customers covered under medicare. The business has “maintained its viability” with losses in some recent years, and profits in subsequent years that made up for the red ink, he said.

The profit it makes is mainly from US/international patients/customers, as is detailed in Shouldice’s FAQ titled “How much does the operation cost?”

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I buy your arguments some on the time, mostly not this time. In short:

I don’t care if something has been done for 200 years or not (at least not in politics - math and science are a different story).

Losing the number is not the most significant thing but it matters to activists. If there had been a way to preserve the number even if that meant developing additional bills referring to HR 676 that covered financing and transitions, that might have been preferable to activists (it doesn’t matter to me that much and I don’t care that the number is reused for NATO but I haven’t worked my whole life on this issue as many have).

The part that really matters to me is when Margaret Flowers says that the previous text was based on a 2003 PNHP plan. I’ve been to PNHP meetings in the 90s and I was very impressed. You don’t throw that group under the bus, if you do you’ve gone astray. They want to see the changes and that is enough reason to me to demand that they be made public.

I agree with @JoanRobinson that activism isn’t enough - one needs activists and sympathetic politicians. You don’t deny a request for openness from PNHP without issuing a statement as to why if you want to be known as sympathetic.

Finally click bait is really a term better used for a website where clicks make money. Since CD has no advertising you might want to think of a different term. And Russel Mokiiber who I hear every week on the Ralph Nader radio hour is trustworthy to me.

Bill numbers are meaningless. Bills get reintroduced every single year with different numbers. There is zero that’s sacrosanct about bill numbers, nothing. The House clerk numbers bills as they are introduced and that’s why they have their numbers. This is a patently absurd—to the point I cannot believe anyone would put it forward as genuine—excuse to get people riled up in favor of a special interest group’s particular interest. Moreover, if a bill passes as HR 1001, nobody is going to care, nobody, including you.

Additionally, who is throwing anybody under the bus? Legislation is being drafted and will be introduced. Lots of legislation is drafted by a single legislator and their staff prior to introduction. Is that throwing people under the bus? PNHP will see the legislation as will you, me, and everyone else. It will go through hearings and amendation in multiple committees. PNHP knows plenty of congresspeople, it can have them introduce their amendments. And even if you like them, they have no more right to draft legislation and expect a legislator to introduce it than anyone else.

I already said I didn’t care. But I don’t disregard the sentiment if it is actually held at PNHP (and since I don’t know I probably should have skipped by that point).

You and I disagree about the legitimacy of PNHP wanting to see draft texts. However with @dpearl pointing to a tabular response of the updates that changes my opinion quite a bit. I will reserve judgement as to whether this was satisfactory but perhaps it was and as I said over there Jake Johnson should have mentioned it and if he doesn’t know about it he isn’t researching the topic well enough and should be reading the comments.

I try not to get too personal here, but I have experience on the legislative side. Someone making an argument based the number of a bill clearly and obviously has an alternative agenda. Bills are numbered sequentially as they are introduced, that’s all a bill number means.

And I’m fine with PNHP seeing draft texts, which they will see when a bill gets introduced as will you and I. Legislation remains draft, after all, until it gets engrossed after passing both houses Congress. Congress people are who we elect to craft law, not special interest organizations, even ones we like, like PNHP.

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The power of for-profit everything is a cancer that has metastasized across every aspect of our nation/republic, including health care, education, the war industry, and others…especially with our two political party’ establishment selected reps who now serve big-money almost exclusively…our electoral politics is on life-support and has very nearly succumbed to the cancer of wealth and exploitation uber-alles!

The fight for HR676 must _continu_e to be waged now or we will be sold another for-profit pig-in-a-poke scam to enhance the power and profits of the insurance, pharmaceutical, corporate hospital parasites and all the other corrupt aspects of health care of, by, and for, the more equal than others!

Kay Tillow sez:
“It’s a compromise that there is no need to make. We are getting hearings in this Congress. Why should we take the impact of the for-profits out of the discussion before the debate starts? We gain nothing."

Hmm. Perhaps Mr. Obama has been hired as a “negotiating” consultant?

Everyone contact Jayapal’s office 202-225-3106, also Bernie (202) 224-5141 and Our Revolution info@ourrevolution.com (because they’re telling people to support it without even telling them what it really is) - tell them: “Hands Off HR 676!” Send your copies and tell single payer action that you took action so you have back-up and they know people are taking action: https://www.singlepayeraction.org/contact/

It took “We The People,” not Pramila Jayapal, about 16 years to get 124 co-sponsors, with a majority of House Democrats signed on. Millions of Americans today know HR 676 as single payer Medicare For All - why should we go back to the starting gate, and, with a watered down bill, to boot? We put this bill on the map - the Democrats can’t even run for the House anymore without HR 676 as the litmus test for their qualifications.

This is our bill, not Jayapal’s. She has no right to do this. We didn’t send these so-called progressives to Congress to destroy our Gold Standard. We sent them to Congress to get even more votes on HR 676 and pass it.

Call them and give em hell. Let them know this is fully unacceptable. We need fast and loud action. Spread the word. Thank you, Common Dreams.

Excellent points… we’ve been sold down the river too many times

the insurance industry will use every dollar and lobbyist available to kill any med4all bill

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Sorry, but this reminds me of the TPP. Written behind closed doors and then an attempted fast push-through before anyone (including Congresspersons) really knew what it said. I’m already being sent petitions (I forgot from where, but I’ll start paying more attention to that) to urge Congress to pass the new bill, using nothing more than her name as assurance that the bill has what is needed.
Let’s see the bill.

Ignore online petitions. Here’s where you can look to see the new bill when it is introduced:

Congress has been in session all of one month. It, and many other bills, will come.

Thanks for the link.

On that page (I’ve been to the site after searching for a bill, this is the first time I’ve looked at the top level), there is a link to the top 10 bills on the upper left and there you will see H.R. 1 [116th] listed twice and they are completely different bills. Is that a typo? (e.g., is the second reference supposed to be [115th]) or is this an indication our system hasn’t even come up a simple unique identifier for bills (bill number + whatever 116th represents - what is that anyway?, it isn’t he number of years the House or Senate has been there)

So, I’m not totally sure what you are seeing. HR1 is the For the People Act of 2019, authored by Sarbanes, and it includes a suite of very important election reforms that I wish were discussed more around here. Note, HR just stands for House of Representatives. There’s also H.Res1, which means House Resolution, and that is a resolution to appoint officers of the House. Could you be confusing the two?

You can go here and click descending to view the bills in numerical order. I use the website quite a bit—it certainly beats the old days when you’d have to wait for the daily digest to see what got introduced. Imagine the conspiracy theories on social media if people were stuck doing that!

Update: HR1 that you are seeing was from the previous session. It’s just one of the “most viewed” bills because it’s the tax cut bill. So it’s not a typo.