House of Representatives Holds First “Medicare-for-All” Hearing

House of Representatives Holds First “Medicare-for-All” Hearing

Last week, Congress’ House of Representatives held the first ever “Medicare-for-All” hearing. Six hours of emotional testimony was given on the Medicare for All Act of 2019 (H.R. 1384), including testimony from Ady Barkan, a 35 year old single-payer activist with ALS with a courageous, challenging and touching story.

This legislation, introduced by Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell, would improve and expand Medicare as a national health insurance program to cover all Americans, and include additional benefits not currently covered by Medicare, such as long-term services and supports, vision, dental and hearing.

While some Democrat leaders are not yet in support, over 100 Democratic cosponsors and many 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are in favor of the proposal. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) also introduced a similar but not identical piece of legislation, Medicare for All Act of 2019 (S. 1129) with 14 Democratic cosponsors.

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.