Protesters are planning to convey that message to their representatives and senators Friday during visits to congressional offices, demanding that lawmakers support legislation to provide government-funded healthcare to all Americans—replacing the for-profit healthcare system which has helped make medical costs the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States.
Advocates were hopeful this week that Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) would hold a hearing on Medicare for All as chairwoman of a House subcommittee on health. But Eshoo told Politico on Wednesday that the proposal would only be examined after the subcommittee tackled drug prices reform and protection of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), if there was any “spare time.”
Critics urged advocates to make sure their message gets to Eshoo on the lobbying day.
“Jayapal’s bill lays out a clear plan to ensure all of us can get the quality healthcare we need, regardless of how much money we have in our bank account,” said Connie Huynh, director of the Healthcare for All campaign at People’s Action. “It moves us closer to realizing health as a human right, which is what our members have clearly and boldly demanded since People’s Action and its member organizations started organizing for healthcare justice decades ago.”
The lobby day comes a day before the Women’s Wave, the third annual nationwide protest organized by the Women’s March. It also coincides with a campaign launched by the advocacy group Public Citizen, calling on Americans to engage with their representatives and demand that they support Jayapal’s proposed legislation.
“Predictably, the insurance and pharmaceutical companies that make billions from our broken health care system are working overtime to crush Medicare-for-All,” said Melinda St. Louis of Public Citizen in an email to supporters.
“This fight won’t be easy,” she added. “But taking on entrenched corporate interests to promote the public good is what Public Citizen and our members do best. By building people power at the local level across the country—while shoring up congressional champions through strategic advocacy—we will win Medicare for All.”
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