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Congresswoman, Los Angeles Small Businesses, City Council: ‘Now is the Time for Medicare for All’

Almost 500,000 Los Angelenos Lack Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Los Angeles City Council, local small business owners and a California congresswoman are making it clear that Medicare for All is the only path forward in fixing our country’s broken health care system.

Despite gains made under the Affordable Care Act, almost half a million Los Angeles residents still lack health care.

“Health care is a human right. Nobody should be denied the treatments or care they need, and nobody should be forced to go bankrupt just to afford health care,” said U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.). “That is why I am proud to support Medicare for All. My constituents, and Americans across the country, deserve the confidence that we give our seniors: namely that if they fall ill, they will not need to worry about choosing between bankruptcy or death.”

Last month, voters and activists rallied in front of Los Angeles City Hall, demanding guaranteed health care. The Los Angeles City Council agreed and passed a resolution in support of Medicare for All, following other major U.S. cities including Tampa, Detroit and Seattle.

“Our current health care system puts enormous stress, burden and hardship on people here in Los Angeles, forcing families to choose between paying rent, buying food or affording basic medical care,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Medicare for All is smart policy, and getting rid of premiums and deductibles means that everyone can afford to see a doctor when they need it. It also means that the city can save a lot of money that we currently pay to private insurance companies – allowing us to invest more in parks, in filling potholes and in combating the homelessness crisis on our streets.

But local politicians and activists aren’t the only ones pushing for Medicare for All. A recent survey found that 58% of U.S. small business owners support the policy and more than 60% blame big corporations for record high health care costs.

“American small businesses need Medicare for All. Privatized health care drains the resources, time and energy of small business owners across the country and puts us at a competitive disadvantage with businesses internationally that benefit from the efficiency and low cost of single payer,” said Jacob McKean, CEO and founder, Modern Times Beer, which employs 200 workers in San Diego and Los Angeles. “Medicare for All would be a tremendous boon to business innovation by allowing entrepreneurs to do what we do best: focus on our mission, rather than having to constantly deal with the hassle of private health care.”

Added Julia Posin, co-founder of Steel Straw in Los Angeles, “We co-founded our small family company last year, and health care costs are a major barrier to hiring our first employees. Medicare For All would free our new company from covering those costs and allow us to expand our capacity and provide job opportunities much sooner. For now, we’re not hiring.”

Nationally, a strong majority of Americans have consistently supported Medicare for All. Additionally, more than 250 economists have signed a public statement supporting Medicare for All, noting that “health care is not a service that follows standard market rules” and that “public financing for health is not a matter of raising new money for health care, but of reducing total health care outlays and distributing payments more equitably and efficiently.”