Progressive House Democrat Moving Ahead with ‘Medicare for all’ Bill

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal speaks at a press conference outside a Federal Detention Center holding migrant women on June 9, 2018 in SeaTac, Washington. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal visited the Federal Detention Center-SeaTac to meet with more than 100 asylum seekers, many of whom are women. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
Karen Ducey/Getty

Progressive Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said Tuesday the time has come to begin laying the groundwork to vote on a “Medicare for all” bill as Democrats stand poised to lead the House in January.

“We are going to be pushing for it to get a hearing….to have this debate on the floor,” Jayapal told National Nurses United union members during a conference call. Jayapal, co-chairman of the House’s Medicare for All caucus, is likely to face headwinds regarding the potential legislation as Party leadership has yet to sign on to bill or show interest in bringing it to a vote.

The progressive lawmaker believes the issue can help maintain the Democrat majority in the House, telling the nurses’ union, “when we have that majority we need to make sure that we put it to use.”

“Organizers from liberal groups, led by National Nurses United, said on the call that they are going to be organizing grassroots support, including phone calls especially targeting the 13 House Democrats on the key committees of Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce who they said have not signed onto the Medicare for All bill yet,” The Hill reports.

Jayapal was joined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the policy’s most high-profile proponent, and issued a call to act using a “massive grassroots support” to make “Medicare for all” law of the land.

In a recent interview with The Hill, Jayapal said the Medicare for All caucus are hard at work crafting a “revised version” of the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act and aims to introduce it during Congress’ upcoming sessions.

In an opinion-editorial last month, Breitbart News’ Joel Pollak outlined why a Medicare for All is destined to fail:

1. It failed in Vermont, Bernie Sanders’s home state. That’s right — the guy running around promoting “Medicare for All” could not make it work in his own little state: it was far too expensive, and too complicated. The idea failed to pass in California for the same reason: it would have cost more than twice the annual budget. A recent study showed “Medicare for All” would cost $38 trillion over the first 10 years — again, twice the current federal budget.

2. You think you’re getting “Medicare,” but you’d get “Medicaid” — if you’re lucky. Medicaid is the insurance policy for the poor, and it is plagued by chronic problems. Not only is it a huge financial burden, but many doctors do not accept Medicaid insurance: you cannot get the doctor or the care that you want. That is what “Medicare for All” would look like once the resources of the Medicare system were stretched to cover everyone else. Medicare is already very complicated, subject to fraud, over-spending, and endless bureaucracy. The idea of adding at least an additional 250 million or so people to the roughly 50 million Medicare now serves would be a recipe for disaster.

3. You can’t have universal health care and open borders. The same people who say we should have “Medicare for All” also want to allow as many immigrants into the country as possible — legal or illegal. That would swiftly bankrupt and destroy whatever health care the government managed to provide, leaving Americans with nothing.

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