Led by Representatives Cori Bush and Carolyn Maloney, Congress is holding the first hearing since 2019 to examine paths to Medicare for All.

By Aída Chávez, The Nation

Two years ago, when the pandemic first upended life as we knew it, many progressives believed Covid-19 would make a forceful case against the inhumane US health care system and galvanize support for Medicare for All. But after dominating the 2020 presidential primary, the idea of establishing a national, single-payer health insurance program has all but disappeared from mainstream political discourse

Medicare for All

Congressional progressives are trying to revitalize the conversation. The House Oversight Committee is holding a hearing next week on Medicare for All, the first to examine paths to universal health care since 2019—and House Democrats’ third-ever on the issue. The hearing is being led by Chair Carolyn Maloney and Representative Cori Bush, and will be stacked with members of the Squad, including Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Jamaal Bowman.

Lawmakers will discuss Representative Pramila Jayapal’s bill to establish Medicare for All and other reforms, focusing on how universal coverage could close the health care gap for people of color, low-income and poor patients, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups. Ady Barkan, a health care activist who is dying of the neurodegenerative disease known as ALS, will be testifying at the hearing alongside health policy experts.

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