Statement of Melinda St. Louis, Director, Public Citizen’s Medicare for All Campaign
Note: Today, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution in support of Medicare for All. With a city population of almost four million, it is the second-most populous city in the U.S. Before the vote, activists and representatives of Los Angeles neighborhood councils rallied in front of Los Angeles City Hall in support of Medicare for All. Additionally, more than 30 people spoke in favor of the resolution before the council and shared powerful personal stories. Public Citizen is part of a coalition urging citizens to press their local governments to pass similar resolutions.
We applaud the Los Angeles City Council for joining the growing movement of city and county councils who are demanding Medicare for All because they have a front-row seat to the devastation wrought by our inequitable and cruel for-profit health care system.
Despite gains made since the Affordable Care Act, more than 437,000 Los Angeles residents still lacked health insurance in 2018. Cities are tired of watching as their residents face financial ruin or early death if they get sick. Tampa, Detroit, Seattle, Chicago’s Cook County and now Los Angeles are among the local jurisdictions that are taking a stand for Medicare for All. This is what a movement looks like.
Today’s successful resolution shows just how change happens; with grassroots efforts from activists and regular Americans educating their neighbors in their communities and demanding action from their elected officials from the ground up.
Today’s resolution sends a powerful message to Congress that the people of Los Angeles demand that health care be treated as a right, not a privilege. We hope that the members of Congress representing districts in Los Angeles who have not yet co-sponsored Medicare for All legislation – including U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), who sits on a key committee – will heed the call that it’s time to get on board and fight for guaranteed health care for all.