WASHINGTON, May 12 – At a time when 68,000 Americans die each year because they cannot afford the health care they desperately need and more than 1.1 million people in the United States have lost their lives to the pandemic – at least one third of which have been linked to lack of health insurance – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) will hold a town hall at the U.S. Capitol with nurses, doctors, other health care workers, and patients on the need for Medicare for All and health care as a human right for all people across this country.
“The American people understand, as I do, that health care is a human right, not a privilege,” said Sanders, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. “It is not acceptable to me, nor to the American people, that over 85 million people today are either uninsured or underinsured. As we speak, there are millions of people who would like to go to a doctor but cannot afford to do so. This is an outrage. In America, your health and your longevity should not be dependent on your wealth. After this terrible pandemic that took so many lives, it is clearer now, perhaps more than it has ever been before. It is long past time that Congress acts to save lives. It is long past time to end the international embarrassment of the United States being the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all of its citizens.”
“We live in a country where millions of people ration lifesaving medication or skip necessary trips to the doctor because of cost,” said Jayapal. “Sadly, the number of people struggling to afford care continues to skyrocket as 15 million people lose their current health insurance as pandemic-era programs end. Breaking a bone or getting sick shouldn’t be a reason that people in the richest country in the world go broke. There is a solution to this health crisis — a popular one that guarantees health care to every person as a human right and finally puts people over profits and care over corporations. That solution is Medicare for All — everyone in, nobody out. I’m so proud to fight for this legislation to finally ensure that all people can get the care they need and the care they deserve.”
Today in the U.S., tens of thousands of people die each year because they cannot afford health insurance and millions more suffer unnecessarily because of delayed treatment. About 44 percent of the adult population, some 112 million Americans, are struggling to pay for the medical care they need, and more than 85 million Americans are uninsured or under-insured because of high deductibles and premiums. In addition, life expectancy in the U.S. continues to be much lower than most other industrialized countries and infant mortality rates are much higher. During the pandemic, the crisis that is the American health care system only worsened. And yet, the U.S. continues to spend twice as much per capita on health care than virtually any other major nation.
Sanders and Jayapal along with their colleagues in the Senate and House will introduce the legislation next week.
Town Hall Details
What: Health Care Is A Human Right: A Town Hall on the Need for Medicare for All
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman, HELP Committee
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)
- Additional speakers to be announced
When: Tuesday, May 16, 7:30 p.m. ET; Doors open at 6:15 p.m. ET
Where: North Orientation Theatre, Capitol Visitors Center. Please enter the Capitol Visitors Center through the North Security Gate located at First St NE, Washington, DC, 20515 (across US Supreme Court). This event will also be livestreamed on Sanders’ social media pages.