Today, U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2021.
The transformative legislation would guarantee health care to everyone in America as a human right at a moment in which nearly 100 million people are uninsured or underinsured during a pandemic.
Endorsed by 300 local, state, and national organizations and co-sponsored by more than half of the House Democratic Caucus including 14 committee chairs and key leadership Members, the landmark bill provides comprehensive benefits to all with no copays, private insurance premiums, deductibles, or other cost-sharing.
The Medicare for All Act of 2021 is being introduced in the House of Representatives one year to the day that the COVID-19 virus was first confirmed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
This devastating public health crisis, which has taken the lives of more than 540,000 Americans, has only underscored how the country’s current health care system leaves millions behind.
As unemployment skyrocketed to historic levels during the pandemic, millions of additional families lost their health care and the country experienced the highest increase in the number of uninsured Americans ever recorded.
“While this devastating pandemic is shining a bright light on our broken, for-profit health care system, we were already leaving nearly half of all adults under the age of 65 uninsured or underinsured before COVID-19 hit. And we were cruelly doing so while paying more per capita for health care than any other country in the world,” said Congresswoman Jayapal.
“There is a solution to this health crisis — a popular one that guarantees health care to every person as a human right and finally puts people over profits and care over corporations. That solution is Medicare for All — everyone in, nobody out — and I am proud to introduce it today alongside a powerful movement across America.”
“A system that prioritizes profits over patients and ties coverage to employment was no match for a global pandemic and will never meet the needs of our people,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “In the wealthiest nation on earth, patients should not be launching GoFundMe pages to afford lifesaving health care for themselves or their loved ones.
Medicare For All will build an inclusive health care system that won’t just open the door to care for millions of our neighbors, but do it more efficiently and effectively than the one we have today. Now is not the time to shy away from these generational fights, it is the time for action.”
The Medicare for All Act builds upon and expands Medicare to provide comprehensive benefits to every person in the United States. This includes primary care, vision, dental, prescription drugs, mental health, substance abuse, long-term services and supports, reproductive health care, and more.
The Medicare for All Act of 2021 also includes universal coverage of long-term care with no cost-sharing for older Americans and individuals with disabilities, and prioritizes home and community-based care over institutional care.
Additionally, patients have the freedom to choose the doctors, hospitals, and other providers they wish to see without worrying about whether a provider is in-network. Importantly, the legislation streamlines the health care system to negotiate drug prices and reduce exorbitant administrative waste.