The original sponsor of Medicare For All |
One of the most liberal members of Congress, he resigned after two women accused him of making unwelcome sexual advances.
Oct. 27, 2019
New York Times – Representative John Conyers Jr., an advocate of liberal causes for five decades and the longest-serving African-American in the history of Congress, died on Sunday at his home in Detroit. He was 90.
His death was confirmed by a family spokeswoman, Holly Baird.
Mr. Conyers, a Democrat, resigned in 2017 after accusations of unwelcome sexual advances by two women. His lawyers denied the accusations, but both Paul Ryan, a Republican and then the speaker of the House, and Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader at the time and the current speaker, found the complaints credible and demanded that he step down.
Mr. Conyers was the only member of the House Judiciary Committee to participate in impeachment inquiries against both Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton.
In 1974, he said impeachment of Mr. Nixon was necessary “to restore to our government the proper balance of constitutional power and to serve notice on all future presidents that such abuse of power will never again be tolerated.”
But in 1998 he argued that Mr. Clinton’s relations with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky did not merit impeachment.
Republicans, he said, “say the president has to be impeached to uphold the rule of law, but we say the president can’t be impeached without denigrating the rule of law and devaluating the standard of impeachable offenses.”
“This is not Watergate,” he added. “It is an extramarital affair.”
But he died as one of many prominent men in politics, entertainment and journalism accused of sexual misconduct, often toward employees. Unlike many of the others, Mr. Conyers did not admit wrongdoing.
In fact, on the day he stepped down, he again denied that he had harassed former employees and said he did not know where the allegations had come from. Read more.
Conyers Introduced First Single-Payer Health Plan
Jan 24, 2017
H.R. 676 would expand and improve the highly popular Medicare program and provide universal access to care to all Americans. The program would be primarily funded by a modest payroll tax on employers and employees, a financial transaction tax, and higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
H.R.676 has been introduced in Congress since 2003, and has a broad base of support among universal health care activists, organized labor, physicians, nurses, and social justice organizations across the nation.
The bill has been endorsed by 26 international unions, Physicians For A National Health Program, two former editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, National Nurses United, the American Medical Students Association, Progressive Democrats of America, and the NAACP. Last Congress, 77 other Members in the House of Representatives signed on as cosponsors of the legislation. In 2011, the Vermont legislature passed legislation that lays the foundation for a single-payer health care system in the state.
Representative Conyers issued this statement following the release of the bill:
“I am pleased to announce the reintroduction of H.R. 676, ‘The Expanded And Improved Medicare For All Act,’ in the 113th Congress. I have introduced the bill in each Congress since 2003 and I will continue to do so until the bill is passed,” said Conyers.
“Many Americans are frustrated with high out-of-pocket costs, skyrocketing premiums, and many other serious problems that are part and parcel of a health care system dependent on private health insurance plans. H.R. 676 would reform this broken system.
“Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was an important initial reform, which will provide health insurance to millions of our nation’s uninsured and eliminate many of the worst practices of the private health insurance industry.
“However, it is my opinion, and the belief of many leading health care practitioners and experts, that establishing a non-profit universal single-payer health care system would be the best way to effectively contain health care costs and provide quality care for all Americans. It is time for Members of Congress, health policy scholars, economists, and the medical community to begin a serious discussion of the merits of a universal single-payer health care system.” Source.