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Progressives Launch Medicare For All Act with Rep. Pramila Jayapal

Over 40 Groups, Including the Center for Popular Democracy, National Nurses United, Social Security Works, and Our Revolution Unite Behind Landmark Health Care Agenda



Contact: Cabot Petoia, 828-899-9239, cabot@megaphonestrategies.com; Kawana Lloyd, 240-472-2860, kawana@megaphonestrategies.com

*** For interviews with spokespeople or impacted individuals, please contact Cabot Petoia at Cabot@MegaphoneStrategies.com ***

Washington, DCToday, over 100 people joined Representative Pramila Jayapal to launch the Medicare For All Act, laying out a historic health agenda for the United States. The Center for Popular Democracy, National Nurses United, Our Revolution, and Social Security Works are among the many groups backing the new bill as the path forward on health care to respond to our country’s needs.

The Medicare For All Act is a comprehensive health care bill that would ensure all Americans would be covered and would eliminate copays, deductibles, and out of pocket expenses.

“Today in America, 30 million people are uninsured. 40 million are underinsured. We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world and yet our outcomes are the worst of all industrialized countries,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07). “I and the more than 100 co-sponsors of this bill refuse to allow this to continue. It’s time to put people’s health over profit. It’s time to ensure that healthcare is a right and not a privilege, guaranteed to every single person in our country. It is time for Medicare for All.”

** Statements from supporting progressive organizations **

Center for Popular Democracy Network President and Co-Executive Director, Jennifer Epps-Addison:
“The Medicare For All Act is the only viable fix to a health care system that leaves far too many people in this country behind. I have the privilege of good employer-based insurance, but even that wasn’t enough when my husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I pay $830 a month just in premiums, just to struggle to afford co-pays and prescription costs, and still any job change or financial emergency could threaten my husband’s life. A system that profits off our pain and misfortune will never deliver the health care our families deserve -- and that’s why we’re rallying behind this groundbreaking legislation.”   

Executive Director of National Nurses United, Bonnie Castillo:
“As the largest union of registered nurses in the country, we could not be more proud of Rep. Jayapal for leading the way on this legislation that will change and save our patients’ lives. This bill is not only the most comprehensive Medicare for All act we have seen to date, but it is being introduced at a time when a majority of Americans are fed up with incremental tweaks to the current broken system and are demanding Medicare for All. It’s the right bill, at the right moment—and now we are organizing an unprecedented grassroots movement to demand that our elected officials support this legislation.”

Democratic Socialists of America National Director, Maria Svart
“Healthcare is a human right and this bill is the only one in the House to keep insurance executives from standing between patients and caregivers. Half measures won't take the profits out of healthcare. We need
real Medicare for All.

Sanders Institute Fellow, Michael Lighty:
“This is a milestone in the fight for universal healthcare and an equitable society, where working people make the decisions that determine our destiny. Now our task is to build a mass organization of working people that will not give up until we win.”

Director of the Health Care for All campaign at People’s Action, Connie Huynh:  
“This moment is really a testament to the skill and determination of the people in our communities. This bill has almost 100 original cosponsors because people in communities throughout the U.S. are boldly demanding universal, single-payer health care. Something that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago is becoming reality as more people step up to claim their right to quality healthcare.”  

Executive Director of Healthcare-NOW, Benjamin Day:
“The Medicare for All Act will finally put an end to the suffering of millions of Americans who are faced with an impossible choice: forego needed care, or face financial ruin for receiving the care they need. We see loved ones fall through the cracks of the healthcare system every week in the form of fundraising appeals posted on social media to cover unaffordable medical expenses, deductibles, and co-payments. No other country in the developed world forces residents to choose between their life or their pocket book, and with the passage of the Medicare for All Act, we will save lives and restore human dignity.”

President of Public Citizen, Robert Weissman:
“In America, we pay more – much more – for health care than other countries, and we get less – much less. Tens of millions go uncovered, tens of millions more find that their insurance doesn’t cover what they need, and our health outcomes are inferior to other countries. We can do better. With the Medicare for All Act of 2019, we can provide coverage to every American, expand and improve coverage for every American – all at no additional cost, thanks to the massive waste and inefficiency that Medicare-for-All will eliminate. The time for Medicare-for-All has come.”

President of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. Adam Gaffney:
“Accept no substitutes -- only single-payer, Medicare for All can fix the grave dysfunctions and injustices of the American health care system,’” said Dr. Adam Gaffney, PNHP’s president and a critical care physician and faculty member at Harvard Medical School. “Congress shouldn’t be distracted with incremental plans like a Medicare buy-in or public option. The only way to achieve universal and comprehensive coverage is to eliminate the profits and waste of the private insurance industry, which drains hundreds of billions of dollars from our health care system each year.” Dr. Gaffney welcomed this moment as key step forward in the movement towards a sustainable, just health care system for the nation. “The system is failing both physicians and patients,” he said. “We can do better. In fact, we have to: The health and future of our nation hangs in the balance.”

President of Social Security Works, Nancy Altman:
"Rep. Pramila Jayapal and the co-sponsors of the Medicare for All Act are fighting for all Americans. Current Medicare beneficiaries are among those with the most to gain from this bill, which will improve Medicare by adding long-term care, as well as dental, hearing, and vision services, while eliminating all premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. It will also bring down the outrageous cost of prescription drugs. It's time to pass this bill and make high quality health care a right for everyone in America."


Sponsoring Organizations include:

National Nurses United, Physicians for a National Health Program, Social Security Works, Center for Popular Democracy, Public Citizen, Labor Campaign for Single Payer, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Amalgamated Transit Union, American Federation of Teachers, American Medical Students Association, American Postal Workers Union, Association of Flight Attendants, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, Business Initiative for Health Policy, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Credo Action, Daily Kos, Debs-Jones-Douglass Institute, Democracy for America, Democratic Socialists of America, Demos, Faith in Healthcare, Health Care Now, Indivisible, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Just Care USA, MoveOn, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National Union of Healthcare Workers, New York State Nurses Association, Opioid Network, Other98, Our Revolution, Progressive Democrats of America, People Demanding Action, People's Action, People's Action Institute, Service Employees International Union, Ultraviolet Action, Union for Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist Association, United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers, Women's March Inc, Working Hero Action.

The Center for Popular Democracy works to create equity, opportunity and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions. CPD strengthens our collective capacity to envision and win an innovative pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.

National Nurses United, with more than 150,000 members nationwide, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history.

Our Revolution will reclaim democracy for the working people of our country by harnessing the transformative energy of the “political revolution.” Through supporting a new generation of progressive leaders, empowering millions to fight for progressive change and elevating the political consciousness, Our Revolution will transform American politics to make our political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of working families.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019