TRENTON, N.J. — The Trenton City Council voted last night to approve a resolution in support of a national Medicare for All system. Trenton is the ninth New Jersey municipality to pass a resolution in support of guaranteed health care, and sends a strong message to the New Jersey congressional delegation that Trenton residents demand health care for everyone.
“This pandemic has opened so many eyes to how unjust, inefficient and inadequate the corporate health care system is,” said Melinda St. Louis, campaign director for Public Citizen’s Medicare for All campaign. “Cities and counties are joining the millions of voters across the country to send a message to Congress that health care should be guaranteed for everyone. The pandemic has made it painfully clear that the status quo is unacceptable.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated New Jersey, leading to over 26,000 deaths, 1,000 of which are from Mercer County alone. The U.S.’s for-profit healthcare system has put the country at a dangerous disadvantage during this pandemic and hindered rapid response at every turn, as documented in a recent report from Public Citizen.
The resolution is intended to show the growing demand for Medicare for All and to push the entire New Jersey congressional delegation to take a strong stance in support of universal healthcare. Trenton activists, Our Revolution and Public Citizen call on U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez to join his counterpart in the U.S. Senate and U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman to support guaranteed health care for all New Jerseyans.
“The reason I supported this resolution was because we have a large population of Trentonians that do not have health insurance due to the high cost of it,” said Trenton Councilman Santiago Rodriguez. “Health is a basic need and should not be controlled by the health insurance companies. We in Trenton believe that Medicare for All will help accomplish the goal of providing more equitable health care to our residents.”
“Healthcare is a racial justice issue,” explained Joe Marchica, Our Revolution Trenton-Mercer’s founder and chair. “Communities of color, such as Trenton, more commonly suffer a lack of affordable healthcare coverage. Latinx and Black Americans have significantly higher uninsured rates, making up a whopping 63% of New Jersey’s uninsured individuals. While the whole of the U.S. desperately needs HR1976, the Medicare for All Act of 2021, Trenton would be especially helped by it.”
In addition to Trenton, dozens of cities across the country, including Detroit, Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles and New Orleans also have passed resolutions in support of the popular health care policy.