Medicare for All is Having a Hearing for the First Time in History but Hardly Anyone is Talking About it

This is the moment single payer activists have been waiting for since, well, forever. On Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 at 7am (PST), HR 1384 will get a hearing in the House Rules Committee. Representative Pramila Jayapal introduced this comprehensive bill just months ago and has been working tirelessly to get a hearing for it. The problem is this important moment is being eclipsed by the non-stop discussion around the 2020 presidential election. This article is a call to action for progressives and anyone who supports universal healthcare: take a break from posting about a primary that is nearly a year away and start talking about this hearing which is happening in mere days.

Red Berets Medicare For All
Photo Credit: Tracey Carlos

H.R. 1384, the Medicare for All Act of 2019, is the strongest comprehensive healthcare bill written to date. Covering even vision and dental, copay and deductible free, this bill would also circumvent the Hyde Amendment to make sure all reproductive services for women are included. Representative Jayapal met with stakeholder groups like National Nurses United and Labor for Single Payer for months before introducing the legislation which would save hundreds of thousands of lives, billions of dollars, and prevent countless bankruptcies. Many House Democrats still refuse to support the Act however, and that needs to change.

In an email sent to supporters yesterday, National Nurses United encouraged everyone to call the House Democrats who have so far refused to cosponsor the legislation. NNU wrote: “This is not the time for half measures. There’s more than 70 million people in America who are uninsured or underinsured. ‘More of the same’ or ‘just protect the ACA’ isn’t going to help them. And it won’t change the fact that we’re the only industrialized country on earth that refuses to guarantee health care as a right.”

Here is the list of House Democrats who need to hear from you:

  1. Joe Morelle (NY-25): 202-225-3615
  2. Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5): 202-225-2011
  3. Donna Shalala (FL-27): 202-225-3931
  4. Norma Torres (CA-35): 202-225-6161

Suggested Script:

Hello my name is __________ and I am calling Rep ___________ to urge them to use their position on the Rules Committee to support H.R. 1384: The Medicare for All Act of 2019. I support this bill because there is no place for corporate greed and profiteering when it comes to people’s lives, and I believe every person should have the right to guaranteed quality health care. I know the Rules Committee is about to hold hearings on this historic bill, and I’m hoping Rep _________ will stand up for every person in this country by supporting H.R. 1384 during these hearings. The time is now for bold action to address our country’s growing health care crisis, and Rep __________ is in the unique position to help make this happen. I hope they will stand up for health care as a human right of every person in this country. Thank you.

The future of healthcare in this country is in the hands of a few Democrats. Let them know today that you expect them to support HR 1384.

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Georgia Davenport

Georgia Davenport is the Campaign Director for Whole Washington and recently led the 100% volunteer effort to pass universal healthcare via a ballot initiative in 2018. Georgia is also a Washington State Democratic Central Committee Representative for the 33rd Legislative District Democrats, and the Secretary for the Washington State Progressive Caucus. In 2016, she was a super volunteer for Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Campaign at the DNC in Philadelphia. Georgia chauffeured Bernie surrogates like Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, and Lucy Flores to and from the convention. Later that year, she was a staffer for I-735, the initiative aimed at overturning Citizens United, which passed by 64%. Her interest in politics mainly comes from wanting a better future for her daughter and all the other children who need us to enact bold legislation today.