Fight for Medicare for All, Single-Payer Healthcare

Updated January 24, 2021

Our health care system fails to provide quality care to every U.S. resident and wastes hundreds of billions of dollars a year in unnecessary administrative costs. The COVID-19 pandemic has only further highlighted the need to completely overhaul U.S. health care. A Medicare for All single-payer system — supported by UE since 1943 — would expand and improve the cost-effective and administratively efficient Medicare program to finance comprehensive, high-quality health care for everybody in the U.S.

Over the course of last year, UE conducted a “How to Fix Healthcare” workshop with UE members around the country. Part of the workshop includes members filling out a healthcare costs calculator to figure out how much they are already paying for healthcare — and it turns out that many UE members are spending between 15 and 25 percent of their income on healthcare costs, between premium shares, co-pays and deductibles. In addition to the cost, UE members are facing ever-greater limits on when and where they can use their benefits.

Medicare for All would not only save most union members (and other working people) money, it would take healthcare off the bargaining table, where employers regularly hold it over our heads.

Next Steps to Win Medicare for All

From UE ally National Nurses United

  • Sign up to be a District Leader. We need District Leaders in every congressional district in the country to grow the strength and size of the Medicare for All movement locally, help confirm original cosponsors, and build the foundation for long-term, strategic pressure campaigns. We’ll give you all the training and support you need to step into this leadership role!
  • Join our Rapid Response Team to help amplify the February Medicare for All bill introduction. Members of the team will get first notice about updates and will be ready to promote news, alerts, and calls to action both online and in their communities. This is one of the best ways you can take action in the coming weeks!
  • Volunteer from home by joining our Text and Call Teams. These teams will reach out to voters in some of our highest priority districts to let voters know where their Representative stands on Medicare for All. All you need is a computer, internet connection, and time to volunteer - we’ll train you on the rest!
  • Fill out our MFA Leadership School Interest Form. In late March of this year, we’ll be launching our first ever Medicare for All Leadership School to support and develop leaders who want more organizing training. Does this sound like you, or someone you know? Fill out our interest form and forward to people you know who may be interested!
  • Call your member of Congress on our hotline: 202-858-1717. This is a quick and easy way to ask your member to become an original cosponsor on Medicare for All, especially if they signed on last time. (Find out here if they did!)
  • Check out the Patients over Profits tracker. We plan on putting extra heat on the elected officials who are most in the pocket of the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical industries. In the meantime, check out HealthCare-NOW’s tracker to find out where your Rep stands. You can learn more about this campaign at

Congressional Budget Office: Medicare for All Would Reduce Healthcare Costs

On December 10, the Congressional Budget Office released a new estimate of the cost of Medicare for All, finding that overall health costs would decline between $42 and $743 billion per year. The CBO found that administrative costs under Medicare for All would not only be vastly lower than the costs of our current chaotic “system” of private insurance, they would be even lower than Medicare’s current administrative costs of two percent. Read more »

Take Action

The Legislation

In February 2019 Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) introduced H.R. 1384, To establish an improved Medicare for All national health insurance program. In April, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) introduced a companion bill in the Senate, S. 1129Medicare for All proponents will be introducing new legislation in early 2021 — stay tuned!

  • The bill will guarantee quality, therapeutic care to every person in the United States.
  • There will be a comprehensive package of benefits, including primary care, hospital and outpatient services, prescription drugs, dental, vision, audiology, women’s reproductive health services, maternity and newborn care, long-term care services and supports, mental health and substance abuse treatment, laboratory and diagnostic services, ambulatory services and more.
  • Patients will have the complete freedom to choose the doctors, hospitals and other providers they wish to see without worrying about whether a provider is “in network.”
  • There will be no premiums, no co-pays and no deductibles—and no charges whatsoever at the point of service.
  • The bill preserves the ability of veterans to receive their medical benefits and services through the Veterans Administration if they wish, and of Native Americans to receive their medical benefits and services through the Indian Health Service, if they wish.

More Resources

UE Fights for Medicare for All