In an emotional ten minute testimony, dying activist Ady Barkan delivered a message to Congress: pass a Medicare For All bill—now.
Barkan emphasized the increased efficiencies of Medicare For All as opposed to the current healthcare system and pointed out how the for-profit insurance industry hinders, rather than helps, ordinary Americans.
And, Barkan said, half measures won't cut it:
It is very important to emphasize the following point: these cost savings are only possible through a genuine Medicare For All system. Other proposals to increase health insurance coverage, such as those that would make Medicare compete with private insurance, would not facilitate administrative and billing savings.
Watch the full testimony:
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 30, 2019
Barkan's testimony, and the grueling journey he made across the country to deliver it, were the subject of praise from activists, healthcare advocates, and progressives of all stripes.
"I cannot think of a better person to highlight the failings of our health care system and what we must do to provide health care for all," said Wisconsin Democratic state Rep. Jimmy Anderson.
.@AdyBarkan is a national hero, and I cannot think of a better person to highlight the failings of our health care system and what we must do to provide health care for all. #MedicareForAll https://t.co/LiynQVtbXI— Jimmy Anderson (@Rep_Jimmy) April 30, 2019
Barkan is a "true hero," said progressive group Public Citizen.
Stop what you’re doing and watch @AdyBarkan’s testimony in support of Medicare for All. A true hero.— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) April 30, 2019
"My time to deliver this testimony is running out. And, in a much more profound sense, my time to deliver this message to the American people is running out as well." pic.twitter.com/mleln6Do5c
Comedian and activist Rob Delaney, an advocate for Medicare for All who lost his young son to illness, said he watched "brave, beautiful" Barkan's remarks and became emotional.
I cried watching this, thinking of my beautiful son Henry and his final weeks at home. Thank you, brave, beautiful @AdyBarkan. I will honor your incredible work & continue the fight for #MedicareForAll. PLEASE watch this in full & RT. pic.twitter.com/jNNb8PnqIz— rob delaney (@robdelaney) April 30, 2019
"Ady is nothing less than American hero," said Michigan activist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed.
Ten years from now, as I sit in my doctor's waiting room... I'll remember that when the insurance lobby threw everything at us, @AdyBarkan led the charge for Medicare-for-All.— Abdul El-Sayed (@AbdulElSayed) April 30, 2019
Ady is nothing less than American hero. My brother, thank you so much for your testimony today. pic.twitter.com/dJp5AeE9aD
In a tweet, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the main sponsor the Medicare For All bill in the House, thanked Barkan for his "compelling and emotional testimony."
"No more half measures," said Jayapal. "It's time for health care to be a human right. It's time for #MedicareForAll."