U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Wednesday joined Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and 13 Democratic colleagues to introduce the Medicare for All Act of 2019 to guarantee health care at far lower cost to working families and the nation as a whole.
“Health care should be a right for everyone in this country, not a privilege for the few. No family should be forced to go into debt to pay for the medical treatment of a loved one or the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy,” said Harris. “Medicare is the most popular health plan in the country because it works. Medicare for All finally makes sure every American has affordable, comprehensive health care.”
The Medicare for All Act of 2019 would ensure that Americans could go to the doctor of their choice and get the care they need, when they need it, without going into debt. It would significantly lower the price of prescription drugs by empowering the federal government to negotiate with pharmaceutical corporations. Furthermore, it would expand coverage to include home and community based long-term care services, ensuring people with disabilities can receive the care they need to stay in their homes and remain part of their communities.
While the United States spends more per capita on health care than any other nation, it remains the case that approximately 30 million Americans do not have health insurance, thousands of people die each year because they cannot afford medical care, and nearly half of Americans fear bankruptcy in the event of a health emergency.
In addition to Harris and Sanders, the legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).