In the midst of a pandemic that has claimed nearly one million American lives – more than one third of which have been linked to a lack of health insurance – Senantor Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and fourteen other Senators introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2022 on May 12. The bill will guarantee health care to everyone in the United States as a fundamental human right.
“As we speak, there are millions of people who would like to go to a doctor but cannot afford to do so,” said Senator Sanders. “This is an outrage. In America, your health and your longevity should not be dependent on your wealth. Health care is a human right that all Americans, regardless of income, are entitled to and they deserve the best health care that our country can provide.”
“In the richest country in the world, it’s an injustice that millions of people lack basic health care,” added Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “As our nation heals from a public health crisis that has shone a stark light on the disparities that have long existed in our health care system, our answer is clear: Medicare for All.
UE members in New Mexico played a role in getting Senator Ben Ray Luján on board: Local 1466 (University of New Mexico graduate workers) and Jessica Van Eman, president of Local 1477 (Hallcon rail crew drivers) signed on to a labor and community letter to Luján urging him to co-sponsor the legislation, which he agreed to do just days before the bill’s introduction.