Rep. Lloyd Doggett, June 2017. (Public Citizen/Flickr)
Lloyd Doggett, the chair of the Health Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, and member of the Budget Committee, has co-sponsored H.R. 1384, the Medicare for All Act of 2019. This is the first time Doggett has sponsored single-payer legislation, and it marks a major turning point in our campaign.
Alongside coalition partners like NNU and The Texas Organizing Project, our own Austin DSA played a major role in pressuring Doggett to stand on the side of workers and not insurers. For well over a year, Austin DSA has run a targeted campaign, incorporating a number of tactics, to apply pressure and force Doggett to sign on to Medicare For All, with San Antonio DSA serving as a crucial partner in the fight.
Hundreds of DSA members from Austin to San Antonio participated in this campaign in some way:
- Since early 2018, DSA members went door to door talking to working-class people in Doggett’s district about single-payer.
- They held educational events and town halls on Medicare For All.
- They crashed his fundraisers and public events.
- They created videos highlighting the healthcare horror stories of people in his district to circulate on social media.
- And they engaged a growing number of allies in organized labor and progressive politics to turn up the heat.
Doggett’s sponsorship is especially important because he sits on the powerful Ways and Means Committee which Medicare for All must pass on its way to floor vote in the House.
Doggett’s co-sponsorship could have a domino-like effect but only if we take advantage of our momentum. To that end, we are organizing a national Medicare for All weekend of action on June 15th & 16th. If your chapter can participate, sign up here and one of our regional organizers will be in touch.
The path to single-payer is real and that path runs through mass politics. No great reform is brought about without the pressure of organized and mobilized working people. Our success depends on an army of campaigners knocking doors, bird-dogging politicos, educating in town-halls and agitating in our unions. As we pressure legislators to endorse Medicare for All we are creating a litmus test: Will they stand with the insurance oligarchs or workers? Will they stand with their donors or their constituents? The rich or the rest of us?
Doggett is just the start. This is our power and it’s time to build it.
Learn how to run a pressure campaign!