September 11, 2017

Whitehouse Backs Sanders’ Medicare for All Act

Legislation moves the conversation forward on single-payer health care

Providence, RI – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has announced his intention to cosponsor the Medicare for All Act, legislation authored by Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) to create a single-payer national health care insurance system. Sanders is set to introduce the Medicare for All Act on Wednesday, September 13. 

“We have come a long way under Obamacare, but I still hear from Rhode Island families and small business owners that health care costs are too high.  I am committed to bringing down those costs while improving the quality of care for Rhode Islanders,” said Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.  “It’s time we had a real conversation about creating a national health plan.  That’s why I intend to cosponsor Senator Sanders’ bill.  And I’ll continue to explore other ways we can improve health care and lower costs, including adding a publicly operated health insurance option to individual marketplaces, like the one I coauthored with Senators Brown and Franken.” 

In January, Whitehouse, along with Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Al Franken (D-MN), reintroduced legislation to create a public health insurance option, which would guarantee American consumers access to an affordable, high-quality plan in every health insurance market in the country.  Whitehouse and Brown drafted similar legislation when the Senate was deliberating the Affordable Care Act in 2009.

The HELP Committee scheduled a series of hearings this month about stabilizing the individual health insurance market.  In the second hearing of the series last week, Whitehouse urged the Committee to take bipartisan action to address the cost of health care by reducing medical errors and hospital-acquired infections, minimizing variations in care and outcomes, cutting administrative overhead, improving end-of-life care, and reforming the health care payment system.

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