Congressional Democrats to form Medicare For All Caucus

Hawaii Independent Staff

Some 60 House Democrats have announced the formation of an official Medicare for All Caucus to examine specific policy components of a single-payer healthcare system and to discus its implementation in the United States.

“This is another sign that we are winning the fight for Medicare for All,” tweeted Bonnie Castillo of National Nurses United. “And it wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of grassroots activists that door-knock, phone-bank, and table in their communities every day. This fight, like many others, will be won in our own neighborhoods.”

“This is a sea change from just four or five years ago and people are more likely to see healthcare as a right,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) told Vice News, which broke the story on Wednesday, July 18.

Jayapal is one of the Democrats who will join Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), National Nurses United and other progressive groups to officially launch the caucus with an announcement on the morning of July 19.

“Every day more Americans are rallying behind the need for fundamental reform of our flawed and fragmented healthcare system that denies care to millions of our neighbors and family members,” NNU co-president Deborah Burger added in a statement. “With polls showing increasing support for Medicare for all, and new signs every day of a system that is out of control, the formation of this congressional caucus could not be more timely.”

A Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 51 percent of Americans—and 74 percent of Democrats—support a single-payer healthcare plan over the current for-profit system, which has left around 30 million Americans without any health insurance.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) proposed “Medicare for All Act” currently has 15 Democratic co-sponsors, while the House “Medicare for All” bill—introduced by Ellison—has the support of nearly two-thirds of the Democratic caucus.

“The impetus for this caucus is to have a real discussion and work with our offices to see how a system would really work as we think about implementing it,” Jayapal said. “It’s about a growing movement to bring a Medicare for All system into being.”