Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduces sweeping ‘Medicare for All’ bill
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled an ambitious proposal on Tuesday to move all Americans into the government’s Medicare health insurance program, tapping into public frustration over the rising cost of healthcare that has become a key issue for the party as it seeks to gain control of Congress and the White House in 2020.
The bill, unveiled by Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), would transition the U.S. healthcare system to a single-payer “Medicare for All” program funded by the government in two years.
he legislation is the party’s most high-profile and ambitious single-payer proposal in the new Congress and has more than 100 co-sponsors, many from the party’s progressive flank.
It is unlikely to gain the support of any Republicans in the House or the Senate, who have derided single-payer healthcare as a socialist policy and oppose government interference in healthcare.
It also remains unclear whether Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will bring the legislation up for a vote. Pelosi Is Itching to “Protect” Your Healthcare
“Americans are literally dying because they can’t afford insulin or they can’t get the cancer treatment they need,” Jayapal said on a call with reporters on Tuesday. “There are some things that should not be provided through the for-profit market.”
Medicare currently serves about 60 million Americans who are age 65 or older, or disabled. Jayapal’s legislation would eliminate the age threshold. The new Medicare would not require any beneficiaries to pay premiums or deductibles and would not charge patients co-pays or out-of-pocket costs after receiving care.
It does not include new or increased taxes or other additional revenues to pay for the healthcare overhaul. Jayapal said possible ways to pay for the bill include a tax on millionaires and billionaires, employer premiums and closing tax loopholes for the wealthy … Read more.
Pramila Jayapal (born September 21, 1965 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India) is an American politician and activist from the State of Washington who currently serves as the U.S. Representative from Washington’s 7th congressional district, which includes most of Seattle as well as suburban areas of King County.
As a member of the Democratic Party, she represented the 37th legislative district in the Washington State Senate from 2015 to 2017. She is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives.
The district’s first female member of Congress, she is also the first Asian-American to represent Washington in Congress.
Before entering electoral politics, Jayapal was a Seattle-based civil rights activist, serving until 2012 as the executive director of OneAmerica, a pro-immigrant advocacy group.
Jayapal founded the organization, originally called Hate Free Zone, following the 2001 September 11 attacks.
The organization successfully sued the Bush Administration’s Immigration and Naturalization Services to prevent the deportation of over 4,000 Somalis across the country. 9 Lepers Show Up At Minnesota Clinic; Mayo Doctors Stunned
Described by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as “a rising star in the Democratic caucus”, Jayapal currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and serves on both the Judiciary and Budget committees.