The legislation would replace the current employer-sponsored healthcare system and force all Americans into a one-size-fits-all, government-run Medicare-type program.
On Wednesday, Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) and Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) introduced the “Medicare for All Act of 2021" in the U.S. House of Representatives. As the name implies, the legislation would replace the current, employer-sponsored healthcare system and force all Americans into a one-size-fits-all, government-run Medicare-type program.
The legislation currently has 109 Democratic cosponsors, nearly half of the House Democrat caucus, and includes 13 Democratic committee leaders, including the chairs of the House Budget Committee, House Oversight and Reform Committee, and House Committee on Financial Services. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), chair of the Senate Budget Committee, is expected to introduce similar legislation in the U.S. Senate in the near future.
The Big “I" continues to be a strong supporter of employer-sponsored health insurance. Opposing policies that hurt that system, such as Medicare for All, will be an important topic during the 2021 Big “I" Virtual Legislative Conference, which will take place April 13-16.
The Partnership for America's Health Care Future, of which the Big “I" is a member, issued a statement on the reintroduction of Medicare for All legislation.
“Every American deserves access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care, but creating a one-size-fits-all government health insurance system like Medicare for All will never allow us to achieve that goal," said Lauren Crawford Shaver, executive director of the Partnership.
“Rather than making quality care more affordable and accessible, research shows that Medicare for All would force Americans to pay more to wait longer for worse care," she added. “Instead of creating an unaffordable new system controlled by politicians, policymakers should build on and improve what is working in health care, where private coverage, Medicare and Medicaid work together to expand access to affordable, quality health coverage and care."
As the legislation is considered this Congress, we will continue to provide members with updates in the weekly News & Views e-newsletter.
Wyatt Stewart is Big “I" assistant vice president of federal government affairs.