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Congresswoman Jayapal introduces Medicare for All bill

Written by Diane Archer

Today, Congresswoman Jayapal and 105 co-sponsors introduced the Medicare for All Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. Unlike most other health reform bills in the House and the Senate, the Medicare for All Act offers comprehensive health care for everyone in the US, including long-term care, and takes hundreds of billions of dollars of waste out of the system.

The Medicare for All Act would fix our broken health insurance system. We have 30 million uninsured and tens of millions more people who have inadequate coverage, which keeps them from getting needed care. We ration health care even for people with insurance, based on their ability to pay deductibles, coinsurance and out-of-network bills.

Commercial health insurers add as much as $500 billion in administrative waste to the cost of health care. Moreover, they have no ability to rein in doctor, hospital and prescription drug costs to fair levels. Not surprisingly, we spend about twice as much per person on health care as other wealthy countries, which have far better health outcomes.

Because health care costs are so high in the US, approximately one in three adults are not getting care their doctors recommend or are not going to the doctor or filling a prescription. 33 percent of U.S. adults go without recommended care, do not see a doctor when sick, or fail to fill a prescription. In wealthy European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, only about one in 12-14 adults go without recommended care.

The Medicare for All Act ensures that our health care system puts patients first, giving everyone equal access to good care. A large majority of the public support it, including 86 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans. And, support is growing as people learn more about how it works and why it works.

Not only would people be able to use the doctors and hospitals they want, all necessary services would be covered in full, including long-term care, mental health, reproductive health, dental, vision, medical supplies, and prescription drugs.

The Medicare for All Act would create 2.6 million new jobs. It would help small businesses, as they no longer would need to pay for commercial health insurance for their workers. No longer would insurers come between patients and their doctors to decide what care was needed.

Moreover, the cost of covering everyone and eliminating premiums, deductibles and copayments would be entirely offset by the savings achieved from the elimination of waste and health insurance industry profits as well as lower provider rates and prescription drug prices. The law would be phased in over two years.

If you support Medicare for all, please sign this petition.

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