Less than 24 hours after the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act was defeated in the Senate, two progressive representatives challenged all members of Congress to take a pledge committing to advocate for single-payer healthcare.
Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) streamed a press conference on Facebook Live Friday afternoon to promote the Stand Up for Medicare Pledge. The pledge was introduced by Justice Democrats in March and had gained the support of 100,000 Americans.
The pledge reads,
I, ______, pledge to the voters of the ______ district of the state of ______, and to every American that I will:
Stand up for Medicare for All in any public appearances and statements addressing our country's healthcare crisis.
Both congressmen took the pledge at the press conference Friday afternoon. After Rep. Conyers, who has advocated for a single-payer healthcare system for years, spoke in support of Medicare for All, Rep. Khanna made an economic argument for government-funded healthcare:
Conservatives are fond of saying Medicare for all or single payer will cost $32 trillion...What they conveniently don't point out is that the current system costs $49 trillion.
He noted that CEO salaries and marketing costs at insurance companies are among the savings that would come with a single-payer system.
Since Conyers introduced the legislation in January, 115 representatives have signed on as co-sponsors.
As Common Dreams has reported, support for single payer has grown in recent years. Last month, a Pew Research poll found that 33 percent of Americans support the plan, up 12 points from 2014 and five points from last January.