Medicare for All bill gets first hearing on Capitol Hill

Henrietta Brewer
May 2, 2019

On the other hand, the bloated US health-care system could become more efficient, assuming a redesigned system would have lower administrative costs than those of private insurers and heightened incentives for patients to get preventive care. Additionally, every American may not have their specific needs met, like access to new treatments.

The first expert witness to testify was Ady Barkan, a healthcare advocate who was diagnosed with ALS in the fall of 2016.

It is evident that many millions of Americans are frustrated with the current health care system. "But if they want to go after him and Obama about their approach to health care, bring it on". A past co-sponsor of Medicare-for-all bills, Yarmuth says lawmakers should begin to wrestle with the complex policy choices involved in transforming a health-care system that accounts for one-sixth of the USA economy. These arguments often claim that America is one-of-a-kind in the way that the government does not have a system in place to provide adequate, broad healthcare coverage to all. But the partisan differences are stark, with 49 percent of Democrats but only 12 percent of Republicans agreeing with that idea.

At a town hall at American University on Tuesday, Jayapal said that one million private health insurance workers will lose their jobs as a result of her progressive single-payer, government-run healthcare proposal.

A number of Democratic proposals call for eliminating private health insurance and replacing it with a universal Medicare plan, claiming it would help reduce administrative inefficiencies in the health-care system.

Still, the hearing before the House Rules Committee allowed progressive House Democrats to promote a controversial proposal that has split their party - as well as Connecticut's all-Democratic congressional delegation.

It has zero chances in the Republican-led Senate.


The World Health Care Congress panel, "Do Medicare Changes Enhance or Hinder Clinical and Payment Transformation?". Private insurers would be banned from competing with the new Medicare for essential services but could offer new plans for elective procedures like plastic surgery, Jayapal said. Some, such as Jayapal and Sen. Other suggestions include adding a public option to the healthcare market, or lowering the requirements for Medicare.

The legislation was criticized by Vox for it's failure to lay out how the plan would be paid for and how much it would cost.

The Congressional Budget Office is scheduled to release a report on Wednesday on the costs of single-payer coverage.

The hearing has also energized activists: More than 400 nurses stormed the nation's capital Monday ahead of the hearings in support of the legislation.

Another Democratic witness, Doris Browne, a cancer specialist and retired colonel in the Army Medical Corps who is the recent past president of the National Medical Association, focused on the need for equitable care for people of all incomes, races and ethnicities.

"This is first step but certainly not the last step", she said in an interview. She said her plan would be available for all Americans within a two-year span.

What cost sharing, if any, would the plan require?


The Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), an affiliate of the AMGA Foundation, is a coalition of visionary medical group and health system leaders.

Roosevelt died the following year, his goal unrealized, but his widow, Eleanor Roosevelt, was a force behind the United Nations' adoption in 1948 of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which said that everyone has the right to adequate medical care.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today joined Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) at a press conference to introduce the Choose Medicare Act. Barack Obama of IL and his Republican opponent, the now-late Sen.

McCain said it was a responsibility. "And, in a much more profound sense, my time to deliver this message to the American people is running out as well", he said.

But the idea of expanding Medicare, the popular federal insurance for older Americans, to everyone in the country goes back at least four decades.

House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, who is a co-sponsor of the bill, acknowledged the difficulty that "Medicare for All" faces in Congress, but argued that the dialogue on this issue needed to begin and encouraged other committees to hold hearings. He questioned the tax increases that would be required to fund Medicare for All, and referred to the measure as "radical" because of its potentials impacts on current Medicare recipients.


Conservative health-policy specialists contend that, if the government were saddled with the responsibility to provide univeral health care - the implication if health care and health were defined as a right - it would be hard to draw the line about where that should stop.

Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER