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Weiner Won’t Offer Single-Payer Amendment to Health Reform

After months of insisting that single-payer health care receive at least a vote on the House floor, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has decided not to offer the provision at all, according to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Here’s Waxman’s statement on the decision:

Rep. Anthony Weiner has been one of the most tireless and effective advocates for health care reform.His decision not to offer his amendment on the floor was a difficult one for him, and for supporters of the measure.I believe Rep. Weiner’s choice will be enormously helpful in passing the health care reform package.His step is a correct and courageous one.I thank Rep. Weiner for it, and look forward to working with him closely.Rep. Weiner deserves a great deal of credit for helping to make quality, affordable health care more available to millions of Americans.

The decision might please Democratic leaders, but it won’t make Rep. Dennis Kucinich happy. The Ohio Democrat, who has also pushed tirelessly for single-payer health coverage, wondered yesterday how the proposal’s popularity can even be gauged without giving lawmakers the chance to vote on the measure.

“To those who want a stand-alone vote on single payer now, I want to ask this question,” Kucinich said on the House floor. “Is this a time to plant or a time to reap? What fruit will be borne from a tree that has received no light and no water in this Capitol?”

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