Two Billboards Over Texas; House Co-Sponsors Reach 119; GoFundMe is NOT Health Care

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.

MAJOR NEW CO-SPONSOR

Medicare for All has gained yet another supporter in the U.S. House of Representatives, and once again it’s from Democratic leadership. U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) threw his support behind Medicare for All legislation last week and is the second-highest-ranking House Democrat to back the policy, after Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.). Jeffries’ support brings the total co-sponsors in the House to 119.

Jeffries is seen as a potential future Speaker of the House, signaling that Medicare for All is continuing to gain steam within the Democratic caucus.

TWO BILLBOARDS OVER TEXAS

As with the last Democratic presidential debate, this week’s debate in Houston is likely to focus heavily on rising health care costs.

Ahead of the debate, Public Citizen has secured space on two billboards along I-45 in Houston to remind passersby that with “Medicare for Y’all,” you can keep your doctor – you just get rid of the for-profit insurer. Learn more and see the billboards.

LONE STAR SICK

Public Citizen on Monday released a new report that calls attention to severe problems with health care in Texas and highlights the need for Medicare for All, especially in the Lone Star state. The bottom line: The U.S. health care system is a disaster. In Texas, it’s even worse.

GOFUND ME ISN’T HEALTH CARE

Time magazine has named the CEO of GoFundMe one of the 50 most influential people in health care and called the platform “vital to America’s health.” There are more than 250,000 medical campaigns on the platform every year, and more than $650 million is spent on medical GoFundMe fundraisers annually. Additionally, more than one-third of the money raised on the site goes for medical expenses. But more than 90% of GoFundMe campaigns don’t meet their goals.

Still, more Americans are turning to GoFundMe, reflecting just how broken our for-profit health care system remains. Even recently deceased actress Valerie Harper resorted to a GoFundMe during her battle with cancer, as did victims of the Odessa, Texas, shooting last month.

No one should have to take to fundraisers to pay for lifesaving medical treatment. Public Citizen’s new video helps explain.

REMINDER: The cost of our profit-focused health care system is estimated to continue rising and will reach nearly $6 trillion a year by 2027, meaning we will spend around $47 trillion on health care over the next decade if we don’t act. Comparable countries generally spend about 10-12% of their GDP on health care, while in the U.S. that number is 18% and projected to grow.

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.