August 1, 2021
Senator Bernie Sanders
332 Dirksen Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Sanders:
Your Presidential campaigns put Medicare for All single payer front and center on the American political agenda.
Two years ago, when Donald Trump was President, you introduced your Medicare for All bill (S. 1129) in the Senate.
While it didn’t match the gold standard Medicare for All bill (HR 676), your bill was endorsed by 63 national citizen organizations and unions.*
You pointed out that polling from Reuters and others showed that seventy percent of the American people supported Medicare for All.
“In my view, the current debate over Medicare for All really has nothing to do with health care,” you said at the time. “It’s all about greed and profiteering. It is about whether we maintain a dysfunctional system which allows the top five health insurance companies to make over $20 billion in profits last year.”
“The American people are increasingly clear. They want a health care system which guarantees health care to all Americans as a right. They want a healthcare system which will lower healthcare costs and save them money. They want a health care system which will guarantee them freedom of choice as to which doctor or hospital they can go to. They want a health care system which will substantially lower the cost of prescription drugs. They want Medicare for seniors which will finally cover dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses. In other words, they want Medicare for All, and that’s what we will deliver to them.”
This year, with Joe Biden President, all indications are that you and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal have changed your tune.
Instead of Medicare for All, you are pushing for Medicare for Some.
Most recently, in the Washington Post in May, you and Congresswoman Jayapal penned an op-ed calling for lowering the Medicare age to 60. No mention of Medicare for All. (“We must fix the gaping holes in Medicare,” Washington Post, May 11, 2021.)
At least in March of this year, Congresswoman Jayapal introduced her Medicare for All (HR 1384) bill with a promise of hearings.
But still, now early August, you have yet to introduce a Medicare for All bill.
Question: When will you introduce Medicare for All legislation?
And as Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, when will you hold hearings on Medicare for All?
Time is passing.
* In 2019, the Sanders bill was endorsed by 63 national organizations and unions including: 350.org, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Amalgamated Transit Union, American Federation of Teachers, American Medical Student Association, American Sustainable Business Council, Americans for Democratic Action, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Business Initiative for Health Policy, Center for Popular Democracy, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Coalition of Labor Union Women, CREDO, DailyKos, Demand Progress, Democracy for America, Democratic Socialists of America, Demos, Faith in Healthcare, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Health Care Now, Health GAP (Global Access Project), Indivisible, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Just Care USA, Justice Democrats, Labor Campaign for Single Payer, Latinos for a Secure Retirement, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, League of United Latin American Citizens, MoveOn, MPower Change, National Center for Lesbian Rights,National Collaborative for Health Equity, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, National Education Association, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National Immigration Law Center, National Nurses United, National Organization for Women, New York Nurses Association, Opioid Network, Our Revolution, People’s Action, People Demanding Action, Progressive Campaign Change Committee, Progressive Democrats of America, Public Citizen, Service Employees International Union, Social Security Works, Student Global AIDS Campaign, Sunrise Movement, Ultraviolet Action, United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers, United Mine Workers of America, Utility Workers Union of America, Women’s March, Inc., Working Hero and Working Families Party.