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'Stop What You’re Doing and Watch': Applause and Gratitude for Ady Barkan's Emotional Medicare for All Testimony

"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."

Activist Ady Barkan testifying on Medicare For All Tuesday.

Activist Ady Barkan testifying on Medicare For All Tuesday. (Photo: CSPAN screenshot)

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:

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. 

Barkan is a "true hero," said progressive group Public Citizen.

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.

"Ady is nothing less than American hero," said Michigan activist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed.

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."

 

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