WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Debbie Dingell, Pramila Jayapal, other members of Congress and advocates introduced the Medicare For All Act of 2019.
Today’s healthcare system fails to provide quality, affordable healthcare as a right to all people living in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans are uninsured and at least 40 million more cannot afford the costs of their co-pays and deductibles.
The quality of our healthcare is much worse than other industrialized countries—the life expectancy in the U.S. is lower than other nations, while our infant mortality rate is much higher. Yet the U.S. spends more money per capita on healthcare than any other industrialized nation. We waste hundreds of billions of dollars every year on unnecessary administrative costs, while healthcare industry executives measure success in profits, instead of patient care.
The current healthcare system in the United States is ineffective, inefficient and outrageously expensive. It is time to remove the profit motive in healthcare, to resolve the inefficiencies and to guarantee quality healthcare to every person living in the United States.
The Medicare for All Act of 2019 improves and expands the overwhelmingly successful and popular Medicare program, so that every person living in the United States has guaranteed access to healthcare with comprehensive benefits.
“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. 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. Our bill will cover everyone. Not just those who are fortunate enough to have employer-sponsored insurance. Not just children. Not just seniors. Not just those who are healthy. Everyone. Because healthcare is a human right. We will need every single person in the country to help us, to stand with us, to organize and to fight for this,” said Rep. Jayapal. “Because the industry lobby is going to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into killing this bill, saying it costs too much, scaring you into thinking you’re giving up something, pitting the healthy against the sick and the young against the old. 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.”
“The time is now to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare,” said Rep. Dingell. “Introducing this bill is a critical step in this long journey, but much work remains. We need to engage every stakeholder and build the consensus that will ensure every person is covered. Medicare for All is the beginning of a national conversation about how to improve healthcare in the United States. The time for action is here.”
“As the largest union of registered nurses in the country, we could not be more proud of Rep. Jayapal and Rep. Dingell 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,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “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.”
“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,” said Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen. “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.”
“Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Debbie Dingell 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,” said Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works. “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.”
“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 copays and prescription costs, and still any job change or financial emergency could threaten my husband’s life,” said Jennifer Epps-Addison, Network President and Co-Executive Director, Center for Popular Democracy. “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.”