Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Man bites Dog | Madigan backs single-payer?

A strange thing happened in Springfield Tuesday night. The moon set, the sun rose, and rain began falling upwards. That, and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan signed on as a chief sponsor of House Bill 311, which would create a single-payer healthcare system in Illinois.

Has he gone Mad? Has the “revolution begun”, as some single-payer fanatics are saying?

No. It seems to be typical Madigan - playing another game. We just aren’t sure which game he is playing this time. Is it:

  1. Build the majority? Allow his members to vote for healthcare to help them in the fall elections.
  2. Appease Rep. Mary Flowers? Is she going to jump to the Green party after endorsing their presidential candidate? Madiganneed to hold on to as many members as possible.
  3. Provide cover for his members on healthcare? The House has worked for almost a year now to destroy Governor Blagojevich’s healthcare for all plans. Is this the Madigan’s way of allowing his members pretend they are for healthcare to avoid more heat?
  4. Stick it to the Governor? Seems the most likely - after the Governor’s healthcare expansions ran into resistance in court yesterday.

Nine times out of ten, its going to be “Stick it to the Governor,” the Lincoln to his Lee (or is it vice versa?).
But let’s give the Speaker the benefit of the doubt here. Let’s pretend he actually cares about the policy. And let’s pretend that the man who killed single-payer in Illinois 16 years ago (and killed healthcare for all again last year) has finally grown a heart. Is HB311 the single-payer we have all been waiting for?

UPDATE: HB311 sailed out of committee with an 8-4 vote. What makes this more suspicious are all the “subs” that were put on the committee last night to vote in place of normal members. The subs who served last night:

Normal committee members not attending were Rep. May, Rep. Crespo, Rep. Dugan, Rep. Golar, and Rep. Howard.



fedup dem,  11:30 AM  

Rep. Flowers must have a political death wish, to endorse the Green Party candidate for President this year.

Anonymous,  12:42 PM  

Other interesting factors, which shows that this just another hypocritical maneuver by some in the House Democratic leadership were;
1) they allowed HB 5954 - pro-insurance industry bill to work its way through the Illinois House house and pass with 88 votes (only 25 Dems opposed it).
2) The irony of this bill is that it is the complete opposite of single-payer. And yet, of the 27 co-sponsors of single-payer - 14 of these co-sponsors of single-payer voted for this.

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