Commentary: WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement on cosponsoring U.S Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Medicare for All bill:
“America is the wealthiest country on Earth, yet despite our health care progress in recent years, we still spend far too much of our GDP on health care and some New Mexicans still find themselves without any coverage at all.
“It is time to recognize that health care is a human right and I believe that the best way to make that a reality in our nation is to build on what we all know works. Americans across the political spectrum recognize just how well the Medicare program delivers quality health care results at a reasonable cost. That is why I am joining in solidarity with others that share this vision by cosponsoring the Medicare For All Act.
“I am committed to bringing New Mexicans’ voices to this discussion with the goal of expanding coverage and providing more health care options that truly make a difference in the lives of everyday Americans.”
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he will sign on as an original cosponsor to Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All legislation, which would ensure every American would have access to comprehensive health insurance regardless of income or employment status. Udall supported similar proposals sponsored by Rep. John Conyers when he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003, 2005, and 2007. Udall made the following statement: “I believe that health care is a human right, and that all New Mexicans – and all Americans – should be able to see a doctor when they’re sick. A hardworking single mother in New Mexico deserves the same quality health care for herself and her family as a multimillionaire CEO. But while we’ve made strong steps in the right direction, our health insurance system is expensive, fragmented and hopelessly complicated for patients and employers alike. “We must keep striving for a seamless system in which patient care, not profits, comes first; where employers can focus on production not paperwork; and where every American has the assurance that no matter what happens with their job or their health, they can still get quality care.”
Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, worked with Sanders on provisions in the bill related to Indian health. Those provisions ensure that the Indian Health Service (IHS) may serve as a participating provider, that the IHS may continue to focus solely on providing health care for Tribal communities, and that there should be strong consultation between the federal government and Tribes.