Two quick items of interest to single-payer supporters:

July 30 is Medicare’s 44th birthday. Single-payer supporters will celebrate in Washington with a rally, a shout-out to John Conyers and HR 676, and a fan-out to lobby legislators. Details at the Healthcare Now! web site. (Different organization from HCAN.)

Also, check out the web page Amnesty International USA has set up with two petitions and numerous links to resources, all on the theme, "Health Care Is a Human Right." (One of the petitions calls on Max Baucus to convene hearings on single payer; I’d say that train has already left the station — empty — but maybe not.)

This is not about whether we will get single payer legislation this year. We won’t. It’s to remind legislators and the public at large that single payer may not be what we get for now, but it’s ultimately what we need.

Other 44th birthday celebrants for 2009 include Brooke Shields and Heidi Fleiss. Make of that what you will.