Blog

May 1, 2020

[All In: May] Everything you need to know about the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act

by DSA M4A

Hello and welcome to the May issue of All In, the Democratic Socialists for Medicare for All newsletter! 

We are excited to announce a campaign in support of the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act, which is legislation introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal that would empower Medicare to cover all healthcare costs for the uninsured and all out-of-pocket expenses for those with insurance for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

The legislation also “bans surprise billing, empowers Medicare to purchase pharmaceuticals at the same prices as the VA, and prevents private insurance companies from increasing copayments and deductibles, or decreasing coverage, for the duration of the health care crisis.”

Our campaign calls on our representatives to support the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act specifically.

This campaign will include a variety of tactics, starting with national and local virtual phone banks to start pressuring our representatives while maintaining social distancing. We have a variety of resources to help you and your chapter, including:

If you want to get involved in this work but aren’t sure how, reach out to your chapter leadership, or let us know by signing up here.

Lastly, today is May 1, otherwise known as May Day or International Workers' Day. Medicare for All is a key working-class political demand that would not only materially improve the lives of millions of people by fixing our broken healthcare system, it would also serve to unlock the power of a mass, working-class movement in the United States. Today and everyday, we are proud to be in this fight with countless others fighting for Medicare for All. 

If you have friends, family members or colleagues who are interested in keeping up with the campaign, tell them to sign up here to receive All In straight to their inbox. Thanks for reading, and see you next month!

📋 From the campaign 📋

News from the M4A blog and the broader campaign

The COVID-19 crisis lays bare how ill-prepared our healthcare system is to tackle a pandemic. Fortunately, there are ways we can still fight back through organizing and collective action. Among them: talk to your older family members and friends about the need for Medicare for All; join a single-payer advocacy group (DSA!); pressure your legislators and the medical establishment; and prepare to respond to common misconceptions about Medicare for All. 

The shadowy operation to undermine Medicare for All is a whole rotten industry unto itself, backed by industry-supporting players like Partnership for America’s Health Care Future (PAHCF) and politicians like Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden. What’s clear, though, is that messages spouted by a lobbying group and many Democratic politicians have no real resonance with the general American public — 69 percent of whom say they support Medicare for All. As Luke Savage writes in Jacobin, “Every time a Democratic politician or network talking head suggests Medicare For All would undermine freedom of choice or rob average Americans of their oh-so-beloved private health insurance plans, it’s the more or less direct outgrowth of a concerted effort by special interests spending unfathomable sums of money to protect their profits.” 

🗞 News 🗞

Related articles, essays, articles from outlets beyond the campaign

Why won’t Joe Biden end his outdated opposition to Medicare for All, especially after a recent poll showed 88 percent of surveyed registered Democrats support the policy? "Hey, ⁦Joe Biden, as a Democrat running for president in a pandemic, this looks like a popular idea," said Michael Lighty, a health policy expert and advocate, via an article by Jon Queally in Common Dreams. It’s a question Joe has yet to answer. 

Yet another study shows that Medicare for All would save billions of dollars and tens of millions of lives. Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health, the University of Florida, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine published their findings in The Lancet in February, writing, “we calculate that a single-payer, universal health-care system is likely to lead to a 13% savings in national health-care expenditure, equivalent to more than US$450 billion annually (based on the value of the US$ in 2017).” What’s more, they found “the entire system could be funded with less financial outlay than is incurred by employers and households paying for health-care premiums combined with existing government allocations.” 

Alison Galvani, lead author of the study, noted in an interview on Democracy Now that Medicare for All could prevent 68,000 deaths every year—and that’s a conservative estimate. “If we can reduce their mortality rate to be in line with people that do have health insurance, then we would save — conservatively, save 68,000,” Galvani told Democracy Now host Amy Goodman. “That’s 68,000 compared to the status quo. When we compare access prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, it’s 107,000.”

😎 Social media 😎

The best stuff from our feeds

💩We are not endorsing Joe Biden

💪 “Medicare for All didn’t die when Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential campaign. Far from it.”

😎 Nice 

🇺🇸 File under: headlines you only see in the United States of America 

🤔 What if hospitals weren’t run for profit? 

🐍 You don’t need us to tell you this but, COBRA sucks