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Rep. Jayapal, Rep. Ellison, Rep. Dingell and Members of Congress Launch Medicare For All Congressional Caucus

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-05), Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12), other members of Congress and advocates from around the country launched the Medicare for All Congressional Caucus in a press conference.

The Medicare for All Congressional Caucus will help build the evidence base for Medicare for All. It will sponsor briefings on topics ranging from the basics of Medicare for All to financing to universal health care systems around the world. In development is also a clearinghouse of resources for members of Congress and their staff.  Additionally, the caucus will provide an opportunity for members and their staff to interact with partners and providers across the country to gain a practical understanding of how a Medicare for All system would work.

Support for Medicare for All is growing, not only among movement-builders, but within Congress. At its launch, an unprecedented 70 members had joined the caucus.

Members who have joined:

  • Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Keith Ellison, Debbie Dingell, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Joyce Beatty, Don Beyer, Earl Blumenauer, Brendan F. Boyle, Anthony Brown, Michael E. Capuano, Andre Carson, Kathy Castor, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Katherine M. Clark, Yvette D. Clarke, Wm. Lacy Clay, Steve Cohen, Mike Doyle, Eliot L. Engel, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Lois Frankel, Marcia Fudge, John Garamendi, Jimmy Gomez, Vicente Gonzalez, Al Green, Raúl M. Grijalva, Alcee L. Hastings, Brian Higgins, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jared Huffman, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Ro Khanna, Brenda Lawrence, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Ted Lieu, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Carolyn B. Maloney, James (Jim) McGovern, Jerry McNerney, Grace Meng, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Napolitano, Richard M. Nolan, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Jared Polis, Jamie Raskin, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Tim Ryan, Jan Schakowsky, Robert “Bobby” Scott, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, Darren Soto, Mark Takano, Dina Titus, Paul D. Tonko, Marc A. Veasey, Nydia M. Velázquez, Maxine Waters, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Peter Welch, Frederica Wilson, John Yarmuth

“Health care must be affordable and accessible to everyone in the United States. One of the best ways to ensure health care for all is to use the system that already exists for millions of seniors over the last half century: Medicare,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07). “That is why I am so proud to be the founding co-chair of the Medicare for All Congressional Caucus. No one should be one health care crisis from bankruptcy. No one should be worried about obtaining life saving medicine due to cost or access. This caucus is committed to making sure that every American across the country has quality, affordable health care. The path forward is through Medicare for All.”

“Medicare for All works, and it’s popular. The polling on this is off the charts, and we know Canada, Australia and European countries with single-payer systems spend a lot less than we do,” said Representative Keith Ellison. “It’s not just likely to happen, it’s inevitable. This thing is taking off like a freight train, and I’m proud to be out in front with 70 of my colleagues in this caucus leading the way to a better, more affordable, more humane healthcare system.”

“It is an honor to co-chair the Medicare for All Caucus because if you live in America, you have a right to affordable, quality health care and we must work together to get there,” said Representative Debbie Dingell. “When you go to the doctor you shouldn’t be worried about how you are going to pay for it, and if you get diagnosed you shouldn’t have to turn to crowdfunding to afford treatment. Our coalition of 70 members of Congress and advocacy partners is united in focusing on policies that will make our health care system more fair, more affordable, and to ensure everyone has coverage. Medicare for All promises to streamline our fragmented health care system to lower costs for drugs, procedures, and services. It’s why I am so excited to be a co-chair of this important caucus.”

“National Nurses United welcomes the inaugural Medicare for All Caucus in the House of Representatives. Every day, more Americans are rallying behind the need for fundamental reform of our flawed and fragmented health care system that denies health care to millions of our neighbors and family members. Nurses see patients every day that are harmed by this system, and we know that Medicare for All is the best solution to this crisis,” said Martese Chism, RN, Vice-President, California Nurses Association / National Nurses Organizing Committee (National Nurses United). “We applaud every member of the Caucus for their commitment to Medicare for All, and extend our thanks to Representatives Jayapal, Ellison and Dingell for taking leadership in forming this caucus. We look forward to working with the caucus to finally achieve equal access to quality, therapeutic health care for every person living in the United States through a Medicare for All, single-payer system”

“Given the ruthless attacks on our health care safety net and the skyrocketing costs of care, it’s no surprise that nearly 60 percent of Americans now favor improving Medicare’s benefits and expanding it to cover everyone in the U.S. As a physician and longtime health advocate, I’m thrilled that our nation is coalescing around the goal of universal coverage. But it can’t be achieved with expensive, fragmented, and unsustainable programs that rely on private insurance,” said Dr. Carol Paris, President, Physicians for a National Health Program. “Our research shows that only a single-payer plan like H.R. 676 can achieve the efficiency and cost savings necessary to provide high-quality care to everyone. PNHP applauds the members of the Medicare for All Caucus and encourages every elected official to choose the health of the American people over the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.”

“The Center for Popular Democracy’s affiliates across the country fought hard to expand health care and then save the Affordable Care Act last year, and, to paraphrase Fannie Lou Hamer, they are sick and tired of being sick and tired and not having access to the health care that they need. We can’t wait for an incremental fix,” said Jennifer Epps Addison, Network President and Co-Executive Director, Center for Popular Democracy. “The time is now for the universal health care that we will get through Medicare For All. We are honored to support the creation of this pivotal caucus. Together we will make history.”

“It’s long past time to improve Medicare and expand it to cover all of us. The creation of the Medicare for All Caucus in the House of Representatives is an important milestone in reaching that long overdue goal,” said Nancy Altman, President, Social Security Works. “Every person in the United States should have the right to guaranteed, high-quality health care, an essential requirement of economic security. We are excited to work with Representatives Jayapal, Dingell, and Ellison, along with every other member of the new caucus, to make Medicare for All a reality.”

“The launch of the Medicare for All Caucus is yet another sign of the growing momentum in favor of expanding and improving Medicare to cover all Americans. There is no reason for Americans to pay more than any other rich country to get worse care,”said Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen. “We have the cure for this malady at hand: Medicare for All. The Medicare for All Caucus is the antidote for the corporate influence that has long blocked Congress from delivering health care for all.”