A group of House Democrats on Thursday, July 18 announced the formation of a new congressional caucus advocating for affordable and accessible universal healthcare coverage. Known as the Medicare for All Caucus, this grouping in the U.S. House of Representatives will advocate for federal legislation that would create a single-payer healthcare system based on Medicare, a current publicly funded national health insurance program for eligible individuals who are 65 and older.
Co-chaired by incumbents Minnesota Congressman and Minnesota Attorney General candidate Keith Ellison, Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, the caucus will also focus on evidence-based information and analysis for opening the Medicare program for all citizens regardless of age, occupation, and other eligibility or qualifying requirements. 70 Democrats have signed up for the caucus’s membership, including Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Oakland Congresswoman Barbara Lee, co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, and Vice Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Ro Khanna of Silicon Valley and Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
Many Democrats running for office this year in 2018 and beyond are becoming more supportive of a Medicare for All single-payer healthcare system in which the government is a national health insurance provider, and healthcare providers such as doctor’s offices and visits, and hospitals, as well as medical clinics, remain mostly private and independent. Congressional candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York City, Kevin de Leon of California, and Kara Eastman of Omaha, Nebraska support Medicare for All. Other candidates such as Amy McGrath in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District want to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 55 years old and Sean Casten in Illinois’s 6th Congressional District want Medicare to become a public option.
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