The (Endless) Sound of Single Payer


Sometimes it's tough to tell the difference between Senate tactical maneuvering and performance art. Earlier today, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a 700 page amendment to the health care bill that would transform the country's health care into a nationalized, single-payer system. Sen. Tom Coburn's response? Make the Senate clerk read the bill. All of it. As I type this, the clerk has just finished reading the table of contents — and, according to TPM, he'll continue to read unless Coburn's request is dispensed by unanimous consent. At the current rate, according to Philip Klein's estimate, it will take 38 hours to finish reading the entire text. It's pretty clearly intended as a delaying tactic, but if an art-school grad did the same thing on a tiny stage in a run-down part of Brooklyn, it would be called "experimental theater."

UPDATE: The reading of the body of the bill is going faster than expected. Revised estimates suggest that it will actually take between eight and 12 hours to complete the reading.