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'The Time for Incrementalism Is Over': Jayapal Launches Medicare for All PAC

"It's time for public officials around the country to stand with the American people, the majority of whom believe Medicare for All is the best path forward."

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal speaks at the 'Kill The Bill' Rally To Demand The House GOP Vote 'No' On Trumpcare at the United States Capitol Building on March 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)

With support for single-payer spreading rapidly among current members of Congress, congressional candidates, and the American public, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) launched the first-ever Medicare for All political action committee (PAC) on Wednesday in an effort to accelerate this momentum ahead of the upcoming midterm elections and funnel small-dollar financial contributions to candidates who want to guarantee healthcare to all as a right.

"The time for taking incremental steps towards health justice is over. Now is the time to be bold."
—Rep. Pramila Jayapal

"It's time for public officials around the country to stand with the American people, the majority of whom, according to the latest polling, believe Medicare for All is the best path forward," reads the PAC's new website, alluding to a recent survey that found 70 percent of Americans support Medicare for All. "Insurance companies, drug manufacturers, and special interest groups have been standing in the way of real progress for too long—it's time we fought back."

To receive an endorsement and financial support from the Medicare for All PAC, Jayapal—who is co-chair of the House Medicare for All Caucus—makes clear that candidates must actually support going all the way to Medicare for All, not just incremental measures or watered-down reforms of the status quo.

"The only criteria that we have is: are they legitimately for that or do they undercut it in the next sentence and say, 'And the way to get there is through a Medicare buy-in,' which doesn't really get at the idea that we're transforming the whole system?" Jayapal said in an interview with the Huffington Post on Wednesday.

"The time for incrementalism is over," declared the Medicare for All PAC's official Twitter account. "It's time to pass Medicare for All!"

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In addition to building a grassroots fundraising machine to help progressive candidates overcome opponents backed by America's enormous private insurance and pharmaceutical industries, the Medicare for All PAC will also aim to educate candidates on the specifics of single-payer so they can better explain the immense benefits and potentially massive cost savings of the program to their constituents.

According to the new organization's website, the "Medicare for All PAC will support candidates, initiatives, research, and proposals around the country that share the common conviction that healthcare is a human right."

"People are cautious about this sometimes because they don't have all the information," Jayapal told the Huffington Post. "And I really hope that the PAC serves not only as a source of financial support, but that we can help candidates to feel comfortable talking about the issue."

In a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Jayapal reiterated the well-known fact that the United States "is the only industrialized nation that still doesn't guarantee comprehensive healthcare to every single resident" and highlighted the constant financial, emotional, and medical strain America's disastrous for-profit system places on millions of families each day.

"That's why it's time for Medicare for All," Jayapal concluded.

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