WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) issued the following statement marking one year since the two stood with dozens of colleagues and a diverse coalition of universal, single-payer health care advocates and introduced H.R. 1384, the Medicare for All Act of 2019. Earlier today, Jayapal and Dingell joined U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Social Security Works to celebrate the historic progress the Medicare for All movement has made over the last year—and to highlight the importance of the bill in the fight for racial justice. According to the “All Means All,” campaign, more than half of all uninsured people in Washington state are minorities. Video of Jayapal’s remarks today is available here.
“In the past year, our expanded and improved Medicare for All has garnered support from half the Democrats in the House, had four historic hearings, and fostered a national conversation on how to improve health care in the United States.
We must be clear: Our current system is broken. More than 27 million people are uninsured, and even those with coverage face increasing prescription drug costs, outrageous out-of-pocket expenses, as well as the fear of losing coverage because of losing a job or getting sick. We are the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t guarantee all its citizens health care. We spend twice as much per person and have worse outcomes, including low life expectancy and high infant mortality rates—and our broken system disproportionally effects minorities and low-income working families.
Medicare for All will save lives by ensuring health care is a right, and not a privilege by ensuring every person has access to quality health care. Medicare for All promises to streamline our fragmented health care system, and expand and improve coverage for every American. Study after study finds that it will lower overall health care costs.
We have spent the last year meeting with people, employers, labor, health care workers, and people from all walks of life. We know Medicare for All is popular, achievable and a moral and financial imperative for our nation. We must have this conversation with the facts,” said Jayapal and Dingell.
In the last year, the Medicare for All Act of 2019 has secured:
- 119 total sponsors—more than half of the House Democratic Caucus, including the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, the co-chairs of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, the Assistant Speaker of the House, and the chairs of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
- Four hearings in the House—the first-ever four Congressional hearings on Medicare for All—in the Rules, Ways and Means, Budget, and Energy and Commerce committees.
- The support of a diverse coalition of progressive and racial justice organizations, more than 30 unions and 250 economists, businesses, countless health care providers—including the American College of Physicians, the second-largest group of doctors in the nation—and numerous local resolutions of support, including in Seattle and Los Angeles.
In a recent analysis of 22 academic studies on health care financing published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS), researchers at the University of California found that there is near consensus that universal, single-payer health care plans would reduce overall costs; 19 of 22 estimated immediate health care cost savings in year one, and all found long-term health care cost savings. Another recent study published in the Lancet found that Medicare for All would save more than $450 billion and save almost 69,000 lives every year.
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