09.13.17

Leahy Cosponsors Medicare For All Bill To Provide Health Care For All Americans

. . . Sanders-Led Bill Would Offer Comprehensive Medicare Coverage To All Americans, Regardless Of Income Or Health Conditions

Senator Leahy Wednesday joined Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in introducing a bill that would ensure all Americans have quality health care.  Leahy, long a supporter of universal health care, is an original cosponsor of Sanders’ Medicare For All Act of 2017.

Leahy said:  “We’ve made progress in offering health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans, but the complex and costly system that ACA reformed still leaves millions without coverage.  We need to begin serious conversations about getting to universal coverage and a simplified system.  Health care is a right, not a privilege, and no American should be unable to receive the treatment that they need.  I’m proud to support this Vermont-led push to improve on the successes of the Affordable Care Act, and I commend Senator Sanders for his long leadership on this issue.”

Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more than 20 million Americans gained health insurance, but 28 million remain uninsured, including more than 20,000 Vermonters.  The Medicare For All Act would extend the popular Medicare program to all Americans within four years, including the 28 million uninsured Americans under current law.  This comprehensive coverage would include both inpatient and outpatient service, primary and preventive care, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment and pediatrics, dental, audiological and vision services.

Leahy also backs legislation aimed at giving immediate support through the existing Medicare system.  He is a cosponsor of legislation to extend Medicare to Americans 55 and older and of legislation to make cost-sharing reductions permanent to help keep premiums down.  He also is the chief sponsor of the CREATES Act, introduced in June, which would lower drug prices, and enjoys broad bipartisan support.

In Vermont, this legislation is supported by the Vermont National Education Association (NEA), Vermont American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Vermont Health Care for All, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and Vermont AFL-CIO.

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David Carle: 202-224-3693