Strange Bedfellows blog
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Since early days of Bill Clinton’s administration, 16 years ago, Rep. Jim McDermott has carried the torch for a national single-payer health program. A Washington Post profile characterized his devotion to the cause as bordering on religious.
At one point in the early 1990’s, McDermott had nearly 90 House cosponsors for a Canada style national health program.
Single payer seemed like a futile cause during the Bush Administration, which put forward ideals for the partial privatization of Medicare.
Now, with a Democrat back in the White House — and a promise of action on health care – McDermott, and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., have introduced versions of a single payer plan in the new Congress.
On Wednesday, they received some support — not in Washington, D.C, but in the “other” Washington.
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to support the McDermott and Conyers proposals.
The legislation would replace private insurance with guaranteed comprehensive coverage, and be paid for through the tax system. Both the McDermott and Conyers bills would cover all Americans.
Seattle, with a reputation as one of America’s most liberal cities, becomes the 49th city and/or municipal government to pass such a resolution.
The resolution of support was sponsored by Councilman Nick Licata.