WASHINGTON, D.C. Sept. 13, 2017– Today, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and 15 members of the Democratic caucus introduced legislation to guarantee health care to every American by expanding and improving Medicare.
“Healthcare should not be thought of as a partisan issue – it’s a nonpartisan issue,” Harris said. “Cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure affects folks around our country regardless of whether they are in a red state or a blue state, regardless of their income, and regardless of their status. We should not differentiate in the way that we do public health policy and we should understand that everyone should receive the healthcare they need regardless of where they live, their income, or their zip code. That is what this bill is about, and I’m proud to co-sponsor the Medicare for All Act. It is about saying that healthcare is a right for all, not a privilege for a few.”
Sixty percent of the American people want to “expand Medicare to provide health insurance to every American,” including 75 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of Independents, and 46 percent of Republicans, according to an April 2017 poll by The Economist/YouGov.
Harris continued, “Taxpayers of the United States deserve a better return on their investment. We know the public health model shows us so well, if you want to deal with an epidemic, the smartest, most effective, and cheapest way to deal with it is prevention first. That means early intervention. If we’re dealing with it in the emergency room, it’s too little, too late and it’s too expensive. Let’s give the taxpayers of the United States a better return on their investment, which means Medicare for All.”
The Medicare for All Act of 2017 establishes a national health insurance program called the Universal Medicare Program. Under this legislation, every resident of the United States will receive health insurance through an expanded Medicare program with improved and comprehensive benefits.
It has been the goal of Democrats since Franklin D. Roosevelt to create a universal health care system guaranteeing health care to all people.
Harris and Sanders introduced the bill in the Senate along with Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
The Medicare for All Act of 2017 would ensure that Americans will no longer have to delay or avoid going to the doctor because they can’t afford it; that a hospital stay will not bankrupt you or leave you deeply in debt; that you will be able to get the prescription drugs you need at a price you can afford; that middle class families will never have to spend 20 or 30 percent of their incomes on health care; and, that Americans will save billions of dollars a year in medical administrative costs.
Under this bill, Americans will benefit from the freedom and security that comes with finally separating health insurance from employment. As is the case in every other major country, employers would be free to focus on running their businesses rather than spending an enormous amount of time, energy and money trying to provide health insurance to their employees.
The bill has been endorsed by 30 national organizations and unions including: Labor Campaign for Single Payer, Our Revolution, Social Security Works, Progressive Campaign Change Committee, Democracy for America, Working Families Party, MoveOn, All of Us, Demand Progress, Health Care Now, Progressive Democrats of America, CREDO, Public Citizen, Latinos for Healthcare Equality, Americans for Democratic Action, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, DailyKos, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, 350.org, American Sustainable Business Council, LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), National Nurses United, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, New York Nurses Association, Utility Workers Union of America, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, United Mine Workers of America, Amalgamated Transit Union and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
For a copy of the Medicare for All Act, click here.
For a copy of the executive summary of the Medicare for All Act, click here.
For the summary by title of the Medicare for All Act, click here.
For a copy of the “Options to Finance Medicare for All,” click here.
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