Public Citizen Statement House Ways and Means Committee Hearing on Pathways to Universal Health Coverage

Statement Submitted for the Record, June 12, 2019

By Eagan Kemp

Thank you for the opportunity to submit this statement for the record on this vitally important issue. And thank you for holding this hearing on Medicare for All and other approaches to health reform. Public Citizen is a national non-profit organization with more than 500,000 members and supporters. We represent the public interest through legislative and administrative advocacy, litigation, research, and public education on a broad range of issues including ensuring access to health care. Pertinent to this hearing, Public Citizen has supported the creation of a single-payer health care system since our founding in 1971. Our health care system currently fails to meet the needs of the American people, while Medicare for All system would guarantee coverage to everyone in the United States. Despite the successes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in expanding access to coverage, more than 30 million Americans remain uninsured and tens of millions more are underinsured, meaning they are unable to afford the care they need despite having health insurance.

As the third hearing on Medicare for All in Congress this session, but the first in the Ways and Means Committee, the hearing will provide an opportunity for the committee to explore the challenges of our current health care system and how Medicare for All can address them. Patient advocate Rebecca Wood will likely highlight the challenges her family experienced getting the care they needed – despite having private insurance coverage – underscoring the need for fundamental reform to our broken health care system. In addition, we anticipate Dr. Don Berwick, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, making the strong case for not only why we should move to Medicare for All, but how we can transition our for-profit health care system into a system that finally puts patients before profits.

Read the full statement: Eagan Kemp Statement for the Record – House Ways and Means Committee – June 2019