Record-Breaking Launch of the Medicare for All Act

Rep. Pramila Jayapal re-introduced the Medicare for All bill last week with a record 112 original cosponsors – up now to 114. We talk about surprise sign-ons, powerful stories from the cosponsoring Reps, the first national endorsement of a hospital CEO, and the epic organizing effort that got us to this stage!

Show Notes

Representative Pramila Jayapal introduced H.R.1976 on March 17th, with a record number of original co-sponsors on the bill: 112. That represents a majority of the Democratic members of the House. Ben and Stephanie discuss how far our movement has come in just a few years, evidenced by the largest ever co-sponsor list.

Thanks to the hard work of advocates, we have gained two committee chairs as co-sponsors: Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6), the chair of Energy and Commerce, and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), chair of the Ethics Committee.

Other new sign-ons include Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL-5), Del. Gregorio Sablan (non-voting member, D-North Mariana Islands), and Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29).

A number of freshman members of Congress also signed on: Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-16), Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY-17), Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY-15), Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO-1), Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM-3), Rep. Nikema Williams (D-GA-5), Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL-3), and Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53).

The bill launch event, held virtually, wasn’t business as usual. Some representatives spoke about their own experiences living without health insurance. A business owner from Pennsylvania spoke about how hard it was to run a business and administer health insurance for his employees. The bill received its first endorsement from a hospital system CEO, Dr. Eric Dixon of UMass Memorial Hospital System. Also, for the first time, a leader for racial justice, Patrice Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, addressed healthcare as a racial justice issue.

Thanks to the work of constituents on the ground and allied organizations across the country, there has been extensive organizing in every district represented by those 112 co-sponsors.

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