WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPRI) — The latest volley in efforts to change or reform healthcare in the United States came Wednesday morning when Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin and colleagues Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, and Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-New York, called for support of their “Medicare For All Act of 2019” in a rallying event outside the U.S. Capitol Building.
Teachers, nurses, physicians and consumer advocates joined the lawmakers to lend that support. The bill is purported to guarantee access to healthcare with comprehensive benefits to every person living in the country.
While only people 65 and older and some others are eligible for Medicare – the single-payer national health insurance system (every participant pays in through taxes, and the system is the sole ‘payer’ of healthcare providers) – the Act is intended to make everyone eligible for the Medicare system.
Before Langevin spoke, co-sponsor Rep. Dingell said she and her colleagues are determined to get healthcare for every American. “Maybe, if we did more preventative care, we wouldn’t have some of the costs” that skyrocket when someone is diagnosed with a disease, she said.
Another goal was to slash away at some of the complex bureaucracies surrounding the cost of healthcare.
“We want to make sure that healthcare dollars go to healthcare, and not the profits, not for administrative costs, not for advertising costs,” Langevin said, “so that every person gets access to good quality affordable healthcare.”
One in 4 adults has a disability, Langevin cited, saying that healthcare costs can be impoverishing to them and that they shouldn’t be held back by expense in having fulfilling lives.