MEDIA ADVISORY: Chairman Sanders to Hold Budget Committee Hearing on Medicare for All

WASHINGTON, May 9 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, announced Monday that the committee will hold a hearing Thursday, May 12, at 11:00 a.m. titled “Medicare for All: Protecting Health, Saving Lives, Saving Money.”

Today in the United States, some 112 million Americans, about 44 percent of the adult population, are struggling to pay for the medical care they need and over 70 million Americans are uninsured or under-insured because of high deductibles and premiums. Tens of thousands of Americans die each year because they can’t see a doctor in time and millions more suffer unnecessarily because of delayed treatment. In addition, life expectancy in the U.S. is much lower than most other industrialized countries and infant mortality rates are much higher. And yet, the U.S. spends twice as much per capita on health care as virtually any other major nation.

In the midst of a pandemic that has so far claimed nearly one million American lives, the crisis that is the American health care system has only worsened. Roughly one in three Covid deaths in the U.S. are related to a gap in health coverage. Not only that, but the share of adults who do not seek treatment due to costs has tripled, nearly 27 million workers and their dependents lost their employer-sponsored coverage, and last year alone nearly one in four Americans could not afford to fill the prescriptions their doctors wrote.

However, the gap in life expectancy between Americans and those in other countries starts to close at age 65 when seniors become eligible for Medicare. Additionally, estimates show that Medicare for All could save 68,000 lives per year, and numerous studies find that Medicare for All saves the American people and the U.S. health care system billions of dollars a year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Medicare for All would save $650 billion each year, improve the economy, and eliminate all out-of-pocket health care costs. Even a study done by the right-wing Mercatus Center estimated that Medicare for All would save more than $2 trillion over a decade.

Testifying at the hearing will be Abdul El-Sayed, MD, DPhil, Adam Gaffney, MD, MPH, Bonnie Castillo, RN, the Honorable Charles Blahous, Ph.D., Grace-Marie Turner, and the Honorable Phillip Swagel, Ph.D.

Hearing Details
What: Hearing of the Committee on the Budget to consider “Medicare for All: Protecting Health, Saving Lives, Saving Money”
When: 11:00 a.m. ET, Thursday, May 12, 2022
Where: Room SH-216. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the Budget Committee’s website and Sanders’ social media pages.
Abdul El-Sayed, MD, DPhil, Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy University of Michigan
Adam Gaffney, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Bonnie Castillo, RN, Executive Director, National Nurses United
The Honorable Charles Blahous, Ph.D., J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Chair, Senior Research Strategist, Mercatus Center George Mason University
Grace-Marie Turner, President, Galen Institute
The Honorable Phillip Swagel, Ph.D., Director, Congressional Budget Office