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WATCH LIVE: House Ways & Means Historic Medicare for All Hearing

"The time is now for a bold push on a new system that will work for everyone. That system is Medicare For All."

Protesters supporting “Medicare for All” hold a rally outside PhRMA headquarters April 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. The rally was held by the group Progressive Democrats of America. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Protesters supporting “Medicare for All” hold a rally outside PhRMA headquarters April 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. The rally was held by the group Progressive Democrats of America. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The powerful Ways & Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives will hold its first ever public hearing on Medicare for All on Wednesday, a development proponents of the idea characterize as critical to its ultimate realization.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00am ET. Watch the livestream below (or, if stream not displaying, here):

While the Democratic chair of the committee, Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, has controversially framed the hearing as one focused on what he prefers to call "universal coverage," backers of the single-payer legislation introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)—the Medicare for All Act of 2019, which currently has 112 Democratic co-sponsors—are warning against those seeking to water down the ambitious and specific proposals found in her bill.

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"Today's hearing on universal coverage," said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich), a lead co-sponsor of Jayapal's bill, "is about fixing a broken system."

"Access to healthcare," Dingell said ahead of the hearing, "is not some academic or partisan debate. It means life and death for many — Democrat and Republican alike. The time is now for a bold push on a new system that will work for everyone. That system is Medicare For All."

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