Pressley Joins Jayapal, Dingell, House Democrats in Introducing Medicare For All Act of 2021

March 17, 2021
Press Release
Bill Comes After Millions Lose Health Care Coverage During COVID-19 Pandemic

Guarantees Health Care To Everyone As A Human Right By Providing Comprehensive Benefits With No Copays, Private Insurance Premiums, Deductibles, Or Other Cost-Sharing 

Bill Text (PDF)

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) joined Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2021, transformative legislation that 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. 

“This pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted communities of color, is a painful reminder of the deeply entrenched disparities in our healthcare system and the urgent need to affirm healthcare as a fundamental human right,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “With millions of people having lost their health insurance as a result of this public health crisis, we must transform our health care system to center the dignity and humanity of everyone who calls America home, and guarantee them access to the healthcare they need to survive this pandemic and thrive long after. I am proud to join Reps. Jayapal and Dingell to reintroduce Medicare For All, bold legislation that meets the moment and will set us on a pathway to a just and equitable recovery.”

“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 legislation 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.

This growing movement for universal, single-payer health care has robust support inside and outside of Congress. The Medicare for All Act of 2021 has several new co-sponsors including the Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. who just committed to a hearing on Medicare for All. Last Congress, the legislation had four historic hearings — the first-ever on Medicare for All — in the House Committee on Rules, the House Committee on Ways and Means, the House Committee on the Budget, and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Medicare for All is supported by 69 percent of registered voters including 87 percent of Democrats, the majority of Independents, and nearly half of Republicans. Additionally, over 50 cities and towns across America have passed resolutions endorsing Medicare for All. 

The Medicare for All Act of 2021 is also endorsed by 300 local, state, and national organizations that represent nurses, doctors, business owners, unions, and racial justice organizations. This includes Physicians for a National Health Program, Public Citizen, National Nurses United, Center for Popular Democracy, People’s Action, Social Security Works, Labor Campaign for Single Payer, SEIU, and hundreds more. 

For a full list of endorsing organizations, click here.

The Medicare for All Act of 2021 is co-sponsored by 14 committee chairs and several key leadership Members. Co-sponsors include Alma S. Adams Ph.D., Nanette Diaz Barragán, Karen Bass, Don Beyer, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Jamaal Bowman, Brendan F. Boyle, Cori Bush, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cárdenas, André Carson, Matt Cartwright, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Katherine Clark, Yvette D. Clarke, Emanuel Cleaver, II, Steve Cohen, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Danny K. Davis, Peter DeFazio, Diana DeGette, Mark DeSaulnier, Lloyd Doggett, Mike Doyle, Ted Deutch, Veronica Escobar, Adriano Espaillat, Teresa Leger Fernandez, Lois Frankel, Ruben Gallego, Jesús G. "Chuy" García, Jimmy Gomez, Al Green, Raúl M. Grijalva, Josh Harder, Alcee L. Hastings, Jahana Hayes, Brian Higgins, Jared Huffman, Sara Jacobs, Hakeem Jeffries, Hank Johnson, Mondaire Jones, Kaiali’i Kahele, William R. Keating, Robin L. Kelly, Ro Khanna, Daniel T. Kildee, Ann Kirkpatrick, James R. Langevin, Brenda L. Lawrence, Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee, Andy Levin, Mike Levin, Ted W. Lieu, Alan Lowenthal, Carolyn B. Maloney, James P. McGovern, Jerry McNerney, Gregory W. Meeks, Grace Meng, Jerrold Nadler, Grace F. Napolitano, Joe Neguse, Marie Newman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Frank Pallone Jr., Jimmy Panetta, Ed Perlmutter, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Jamie Raskin, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Bobby L. Rush, Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, Linda Sanchez, John Sarbanes, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, Brad Sherman, Adam Smith, Jackie Speier, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Bennie G. Thompson, Mike Thompson, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, Paul Tonko, Ritchie Torres, Lori Trahan, Juan Vargas, Marc Veasey, Nydia M. Velázquez, Maxine Waters, Peter Welch, Susan Wild, Nikema Williams, Frederica Wilson, and John Yarmuth.

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