National Legislative Initiatives

Date and Time:
Saturday, October 31, 10:45AM-11:45AM

Facilitator: Vijay Das, Public Citizen

Presenters: Martha Kuhl, NNU; Erik Sperling, Legislative Assistant to Representative Conyers.

Description: HR 676, the Conyers “Medicare for All” Bill, remains the gold standard for national healthcare reform and Representative McDermott’s HR 3241—the State-Based Universal Health Care Act—would provide powerful assistance to state single payer efforts. From taking on big pharma to taxing financial transactions, there are a number of other national initiatives that should be of concern to single-payer activists. This workshop will assess the national legislative landscape and opportunities for the single-payer movement.

Notes from Conference Participants:

There are things we can work for that will bring us toward single-payer by enlisting grassroots support entrenching the idea of health care as a right; for example:
- S.31, to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices
- Opposing cuts to Medicare and Social Security
- Supporting bills to expand Medicare (e.g., Sanders has something on dental care, and Grayson on expanding vision and hearing benefits)

Ways to talk about SP (for some legislators?)
- frame health care reform as having the goal of eliminating poverty
- need to address health disparities left by ACA (proven that people don’t get needed health care if costs are too high)

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