Sanders withdraws single-payer healthcare bill amendment

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday withdrew his single-payer healthcare amendment after Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) initiated a procedural maneuver to shipwreck the measure.

Coburn earlier in the day forced the Senate clerk to read aloud Sanders’s 767-page amendment to the Senate healthcare bill in an effort to halt the healthcare debate.


Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” spoke on the Senate floor to announce the withdrawal of the measure.

"The day will come, although I recognize it’s not today, when the U.S. Congress will have to vote to stand up to … all those who profit every single year off of human sickness,” Sanders said. "That day will come."

Sanders's decision to withdraw the amendment will stop the reading and allow debate to continue.

The amendment would have extended Medicare coverage to all who wanted it. The program currently serves people ages 65 and up.

Senate aides estimated that the bill-reading would have taken eight to 10 hours, which would have sidelined the healthcare debate as Democratic leaders attempt to pass the overhaul by Christmas.