Hearing, Panel This Week; More Patients Left Without Care, High Bills; Anti-Care Lobbyists Ghostwrite for Politicians

Public Citizen Has You Covered

Welcome to this week’s edition of “We’ve Got You Covered,” a weekly tipsheet designed to highlight key news about Medicare for All and call out the biggest industry lies and falsehoods about universal health care. Please send tips, feedback and questions to Mike Stankiewicz at mstankiewicz@citizen.org or (202) 588-7779.

ANTI-CARE COALITION CRAFTS LAWMAKERS’ OP-ED; SPENDS MILLIONS ON PROPAGANDA IN IOWA

The corporate health care world isn’t just funding politicians to do its bidding – it’s also writing their opinions for them.

According to The Washington Post, lobbyists from the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future wrote and edited opinion pieces for Montana and Ohio state senators on Medicare for All.

A separate article by The Post also noted that the Partnership bought “half of all political advertising in Iowa” over the summer, the location of the first Democratic caucus. In total, for-profit health care corporations spent about $568 million on lobbying last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, more than any other industry.

“This just shows how scared corporations are of the growing momentum in favor of Medicare for All,” said Melinda St. Louis, director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All campaign. “They not only are flooding the airwaves with propaganda but also are literally writing opinion pieces for lawmakers.”

HEARING AND PANEL THIS WEEK

Medicare for All is getting another hearing this week from the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s health subcommittee.

The hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, is titled, “Proposals to Achieve Universal Health Care Coverage” and follows hearings early this year held by the Rules, Budget, and Ways and Means committees.

Constituents have been pushing Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and health subcommittee Chair Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) for months to hold a hearing.

Additionally, U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) will host a panel Friday with top health economists and experts to discuss the savings under Medicare for All. Panelists include Elisabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News; Donald Berwick, former head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama; Linda Blumberg, economist and Institute Fellow in the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center; and Robert Pollin, professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute.

Public Citizen recently held its own telephone press conference where economists laid out how Medicare for All would lead to savings for American families and the country as whole.

REMINDER: Americans are continuing to be harmed or die due to a lack of health care coverage.

Hedda Martin, a Grand Rapids, Mich. mother, who suffers from congestive heart failure stemming from chemotherapy she received in 2005 to fight breast cancer, said she was told by her hospital that she was rejected as a heart transplant candidate because she didn’t have enough money. The hospital sent her a letter suggesting she launch a fundraising campaign to raise $10,000.

Stories like Martin’s aren’t uncommon. Roseanne Neill, a breast cancer survivor, said her insurer, Aetna, refused to pay for her doctor-ordered mammogram. Neill was left with a $900 bill. Aetna changed its mind only after CBS inquired about the bill.

Medicare for All is the only health care solution that would ensure no American goes without coverage.

To speak with a Medicare for All policy expert, or if you have questions about Public Citizen’s work, please contact Mike Stankiewicz at mstankiewicz@citizen.org or (202) 588-7779.