Commentary: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) released the following statement regarding Senator Bernie Sanders releasing his Medicare for All bill in the U.S. Senate today.
“Today, seventeen Senators will join the 117 House Members who have publicly committed to pursuing a bold vision for achieving universal health care by expanding and improving Medicare to cover all Americans. As with the Fight for 15 and the demand for debt-free and tuition-free college, progressives in Congress are responding to the demand for bold action from millions of working Americans, who are fed up with a rigged economy where working hard and playing by the rules isn’t enough to get by or get ahead.
“We applaud our colleagues in the Senate who have joined with more than 60 percent of the Democratic members of the House to endorse a commonsense vision: health care must be a human right, grounded in justice, access, and dignity—not profit. Medicare for All means never having to worry about going bankrupt because of a severe illness. It means never watching a parent or grandparent cut their pills in half because they can’t afford their medications. It means never letting a health insurance executive get between you and your doctor. And it means that a health insurance corporation will never profit by denying you or a loved one necessary care.
“These are the goals and values that have united Democrats since President Franklin Roosevelt proposed a universal system of public health insurance as a part of Social Security. Medicare for All is just the latest chapter in the important path towards ensuring health care is a right for all Americans not just the privileged few.
“We take the opportunity on today’s milestone to encourage all of our colleagues in the Senate to cosponsor Senator Sanders’ bill, and those in the House to cosponsor Rep. Conyers’ H.R. 676. The time for small ideas and half-measures is over. The American people demand action and that is why the time is now to support Medicare for All.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.