With a deep-pocketed coalition of industry lobbyists, former Obama and Clinton campaign officials, and establishment Democrats already crafting their talking points and formulating their strategy to undercut Medicare for All, progressive advocacy groups are ramping up pressure on the incoming Democratic House to combat these corporate forces by quickly pushing ahead with single-payer legislation in the new Congress.
"The United States is the wealthiest country in the world, and yet over 29 million Americans do not have health insurance. It's a disgrace that millions are forced into crippling debt just to afford the care they need."
—Progressive Change Campaign Committee
In a petition circulated this week, the grassroots advocacy group Progressive Change Campaign Commitee (PCCC) is calling on the new House Democratic majority to advance toward a vote on Medicare for All legislation as soon as possible.
"Big corporation lobbyists are spending millions trying to override the will of the people and kill Medicare for All before the fight even starts. That's why it's imperative that Congress sees that Americans haven't forgotten about Medicare For All now that the election is over. This fight is just beginning," PCCC declared in an email to supporters.
"If Congress brings Medicare For All for a vote, we will see who stands with over 70 percent of Americans, and who stands with the lobbyists. Then we'll know who needs persuasion—and who needs a primary," the group continued. "Together, we'll deliver this message to House Democratic leadership so they know where the public stands."
Because—as PCCC put it—"Medicare for All doesn't have an army of corporate lobbyists," progressives are planning a massive grassroots mobilization in the coming months in an effort to overcome industry-funded lawmakers who are wedded to upholding America's deadly healthcare status quo.
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"The United States is the wealthiest country in the world, and yet over 29 million Americans do not have health insurance. It's a disgrace that millions are forced into crippling debt just to afford the care they need," reads PCCC's petition, which is aiming for a starting goal of 100,000 signatures. "Make no mistake, passing this landmark bill will not be easy."
This sentiment was echoed by incoming Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who noted in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday that Medicare for All supporters still face an uphill battle in Congress.
"I am a big bold thinker; I'm also a good practical strategist," said Jayapal, who has pushed for a vote on single-payer legislation early in the next Congress. "It's why the Medicare For All Caucus was started, because we want to get information to our members so people feel comfortable talking about the attacks we know are going to come."
Pointing to recent polls showing that around 70 percent of Americans—and over 80 percent of Democratic voters—support single-payer healthcare, PCCC noted in an email that "Medicare for All is now more of a mainstream position than it's ever been before."
In an effort to convert this public support into votes in Congress, National Nurses United (NNU) is joining PCCC's pressure campaign by planning a Medicare for All week of action, which will consist of door-knocking, phone calls, and organizing in communities nationwide to intensify the growing grassroots momentum for single-payer.
"To build the mass collective action we know we'll need to win, we're asking activists like you across the country to organize a Medicare for All barnstorm in your community as part of a national Medicare for All Week of Action from February 9th-13th," NNU declared on the week of action's sign-up page. "At the barnstorm you'd gather with volunteers near you, talk about the plan to win, and begin organizing to knock doors, make phone calls, and more in your community."