May 19, 2024

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Medicare for All Gains Traction As Health Insurance Premiums Rise

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The movement for Medicare for All  health care reached a milestone in Denton, Texas today, which became the 100th local government in the nation to endorse a Medicare for All system. 

While higher healthcare premiums eat at Americans’ pocket books and corporations are benefitting from the for-profit healthcare model, grassroots activists across the country are teaming up with city and county governments across the U.S.  to declare enthusiastic support for Medicare for All, which would guarantee comprehensive and quality care for all, without copays, deductibles or high out-of-pocket costs. 

The Denton resolution comes just days after the reintroduction of the Medicare for All Act by Senator Bernie Sanders and a unanimous resolution supporting Medicare for All that was passed by the St. Louis, MO Board of Aldermen last week. The list of city and county governments that have passed resolutions in support of Medicare for All represents red, blue and purple states and includes New Orleans; LA; Knoxville, TN; Cook County, IL; South Bend, IN; New Haven, CT and Sacramento, CA.  

“I want to congratulate Public Citizen, and all those involved, on the passage of the 100th local government resolution in support of Medicare for All,” said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), sponsor of the Medicare for All bill in the Senate (S. 4204). “At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over one million American lives and one-third of these deaths have been linked to a lack of health insurance, the need to guarantee health care to all as a right through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system has never been more apparent. The way we will pass Medicare for All is by continuing to build a strong grassroots movement that is prepared to take on the big money interests and end the greed of the private health insurance companies and pharmaceutical industry. Thank you for your excellent work.”

“Today’s vote in Denton illustrates the growing momentum behind Medicare for All. In a grueling pandemic that’s claimed a million lives in our country, and left millions more without health insurance, people in cities big and small understand that health care shouldn’t be tied to a job. It should be affordable, accessible, and universal,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-7), the chief sponsor of the Medicare for All Act (HR1976) in the House of Representatives. “I’m thrilled to see Denton’s support for Medicare for All, and will keep fighting to ensure universal health care becomes the law of the land.”

“A system that treats healthcare like a right, not a commodity, would improve health outcomes for our community, ease financial burdens on working- and middle-class residents, and cut as much as $23,462,000 from the City of Denton’s annual budget for employee benefits, saving local taxpayers money,” said Alison Maguire, Denton councilmember. “In light of all that, I wholeheartedly agree that it’s appropriate for the Denton City Council to voice our support for Medicare for All at the Federal level.” 

“The Texas state government has consolidated power to attack the freedom of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and anyone who may become pregnant,” said Sean Kirkpatrick, Medicare for All Regional Organizer with Democratic Socialists of America, North Texas Chapter.  “As politicians seek to further prevent our citizens from getting medical care, this resolution sends a strong counter-message. While Greg Abbott’s only response to our broken healthcare system is criminalization, ours is grounded in community and solidarity. Texans deserve a healthcare system that works for the people, not for private profits.”

Alexander Moon, a local bar manager, spoke about how the unaffordability of insurance impacts students, musicians, and artists who work part-time service industry jobs in Denton. “No one should have their life compromised because of the unaffordability of treatment, preventive or not, in a society where treatment is available,” said Moon.

“Medicare for All is the way to give Americans what they want: quality, affordable health care for all,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, which has helped coordinate the national drive for local resolutions supporting Medicare for All. “There is only one obstacle blocking Medicare for All: the political power of the drug, insurance and hospital corporations. Now Americans across the country are coming together – as demonstrated by the growing number of local resolutions calling for Medicare for All – to build the political power to ensure health care for all. Medicare for All is coming.”

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