Medicare Crisis Proposal; Polls, Polls, Polls; Americans Make Difficult Financial Decisions

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 health care 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.

CAPITOL HILL PRESSER WEDNESDAY

Lawmakers this week plan to detail a proposal that would use Medicare to ensure access to health care for millions more Americans as part of an ongoing response to the coronavirus.

Millions of Americans and their families have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance due to the pandemic, leaving many without coverage when they need it most. The Medicare Crisis Program, co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), would expand Medicare coverage to those who lose their health insurance because of the pandemic.

The proposal will be unveiled in a telepresser later this week, with details to follow. Speakers will include Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. Contact one of the individuals listed above for more details.

POLLS: VOTERS EYE HEALTH CARE AND MEDICARE FOR ALL

The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to open voters’ eyes about how broken our health care system is.

A new poll conducted by The Hill and HarrisX found that health care tops the list of issues most important to voters ahead of the 2020 election. Additionally, a new Newsy/Ipsos poll found that about half of respondents said the pandemic made them more likely to support Medicare for All.

“This pandemic is showing how faulty and inefficient our profit-driven system is,” said Melinda St. Louis, director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All campaign. “This is yet another reason lawmakers should move quickly to implement a Medicare for All system.”

MORE TOUGH CHOICES FOR AMERICANS

Some Americans have had to make difficult choices during the pandemic, including rethinking where to spend their money.

The New York Times told the stories of some Americans who have had to choose between paying rent, buying food and paying their health insurance premiums, sometimes begging their insurer for leniency if they can’t afford payments.

“A hospital bill right now would ruin me,” one uninsured woman told the Times.

Under Medicare for All, no American would need to worry about going bankrupt from medical bills or having to choose between paying their premiums or paying their rent.

REMINDER:

As Americans increasingly recognize that our health care system is broken, it’s important to know why a public option won’t solve our health care crisis. A Public Citizen fact sheet explains that a public option would:

  • Leave millions uninsured or underinsured, and subject to unnecessary out-of-pocket costs, including copays and deductibles;
  • Leave more than 100 million Americansat the whim of private for-profit insurance corporations, so they would be under constant fear of disruption when their employer changes plans or they lose or change jobs; and
  • Enable for-profit insurers to cherry-pick healthier Americans, threatening the financial solvency of the public programs.

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