An amendment to implement a single-payer health system could get between 100 and 200 votes, one of its sponsors claimed Friday.

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), one of the liberal lawmakers to have led the push for such an amendment, predicted votes in the "mid-100s" on a provision for a single-payer system in the House -- if such a vote is even allowed.

But it is not clear whether lawmakers will get an opportunity to vote on such amendments, with House Democratic leaders mulling whether to allow any changes to their health bill, despite having promised a vote on single-payer to liberal Democrats during committee markups this summer.


"I believe there will be," Welch told Vermont Public Radio about the prospects for a vote. "I've offered that amendment, along with Congressman Weiner, from New York, and we've been told by the leadership that we're going to have an opportunity for a vote on that amendment."

Welch asserted that the support would total "in the mid-100s, but we don't have close to 218 votes."

He said he expected Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to offer a similar amendment in the Senate, which Welch said he also expected to fall short, though the congressman defended the statement sent by such votes.

"Single payer is definitely a step further than what's on the table," he said. "We don't expect that we have the votes for it, but it's an important debate."