Medicare For All bill unveiled: ‘Complete transformation’ of health care. NBC: “As the debate over Medicare For All heats up on the 2020 trail, House progressives are opening a new front in Congress with a detailed single-payer bill that they plan to aggressively push this year. ‘We intend to make sure that Americans across this country know that we are standing up and fighting for them and for health care to be a right and not a privilege,’ Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the lead sponsor of the bill and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a call with reporters Tuesday. ‘I think this Medicare For All bill really makes it clear what we mean by Medicare for All,’ she said. ‘We mean a complete transformation of our health care system, we mean a system where there are no private insurance companies that provide these core comprehensive benefits that will be covered through the government.’ If passed, Medicare For All would replace all existing private and public coverage with a more generous version of Medicare that would cover essential medical services, vision, and dental benefits with no premiums, copays, or deductibles. The new bill does not contain provisions to offset its cost, arguably the most contentious topic in the single-payer debate, but Jayapal said they’d work out financing further down the line.”
Insurance stocks plunge as Medicare for All bill unveiled with major Democratic support. Common Dreams: “Support for Medicare for All is rapidly gaining momentum in Congress—and insurance investors are starting to get nervous. Health insurance stocks tanked on Wednesday as Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) introduced comprehensive Medicare for All legislation with the backing of more than 100 House Democrats and major progressive organizations, including America’s largest nurses’ union and national consumer advocacy groups. ‘The S&P 500 Managed Health Care Index plunged as much as 4.9 percent, the most since Dec. 6, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc., Humana Inc., and WellCare Health Plans Inc.,’ Bloomberg reported after Jayapal unveiled her bill during an event on Capitol Hill. ‘Insurers UnitedHealth and Cigna Corp, which also own the country’s largest pharmacy benefit managers, were both down about four percent.’ Jayapal quickly made clear that she has no sympathy for the insurance industry, tweeting in response to the news, ‘Sorry not sorry.’”
Rural America Needs Medicare For All Now Rural America is facing a health care emergency – and Medicare for All is the answer. Hospitals in rural Iowa, where I live, are closing or teetering on the brink of closure at an alarming rate. Over a hundred have shut down since 2005, and hundreds more are on life support. In some counties, they no longer deliver babies. Long-term care facilities are vanishing all across rural America, or being bought up by large corporations who care more about profit than the care of our loved ones. I know firsthand – I’m a registered nurse, and a lifelong Iowan from the country. Medicaid expansion was supposed to improve access to care. But in Iowa, the opposite happened when we passed this in 2013, then handed the entire program over to private, for-profit Managed Care Organizations. What we got in return was less care, more services denied, facilities shuttered, and lives lost to corporate greed. The Medicare for All Act of 2019, presented today by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, offers us an opportunity to fix much of what’s wrong with American health care. Instead of allowing private corporations free rein to decide who has access to care and how much they must pay, this bill puts healthcare decisions back where they belong: in the hands of patients and their care providers, and the financing back into public hands. We’ll actually spend less, and get far better coverage. For this, and so many other reasons, Medicare for All is the prescription America and our rural communities need.