Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Medicare for All activist Ady Barkan delivers remarks during the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, August 19, 2020. (Photo: ABC News/YouTube Screengrab)

In DNC Remarks, Dying Medicare for All Activist Ady Barkan Delivers Powerful Indictment of 'Broken' US Healthcare System

"Everyone living in America should get the healthcare they need, regardless of their employment status or ability to pay."

Jake Johnson

Medicare for All activist Ady Barkan, left paralyzed and unable to speak by ALS, delivered a powerful indictment of the "fundamentally broken" for-profit U.S. healthcare system in his remarks at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, decrying a status quo that saddles Americans with massive costs while providing inadequate treatment.

"We live in the richest country in history, and yet we do not guarantee this most basic human right."
—Ady Barkan

Using a voice-generating device attached to his wheelchair, Barkan relayed his experiences navigating America's fragmented and dysfunctional insurance system since his diagnosis in 2016 and said the Covid-19 crisis has shined a spotlight on "the tragic consequences" of the nation's failure to guarantee healthcare to all as a right.

"In the midst of a pandemic, nearly 100 million Americans do not have sufficient health insurance," said Barkan. "And even good insurance does not cover essential needs like long-term care. Our loved ones are dying in unsafe nursing homes, our nurses are overwhelmed and unprotected, and our essential workers are treated as dispensable."

"We live in the richest country in history, and yet we do not guarantee this most basic human right," Barkan continued. "Everyone living in America should get the healthcare they need, regardless of their employment status or ability to pay."

Condemning congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump for continuing their push to strip healthcare from millions amid a global pandemic, Barkan said "we all have a profound obligation to act—not only to vote, but to make sure that our friends, family, and neighbors vote as well."

"We must elect Joe Biden," added Barkan, who has publicly challenged the former vice president on his failure to support Medicare for All. "Each of us must be a hero for our communities, for our country, and then, with a compassionate and intelligent president, we must act together and put on his desk a bill that guarantees us all the healthcare we deserve."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'We Have to Flip This Seat': After Senate Primary Win, Fetterman Shifts Focus to Beating GOP

"This is the most important race in the country," said Democratic U.S. Senate nominee John Fetterman. "Control of the Senate is going to come down to Pennsylvania."

Jake Johnson ·


Kentucky Progressive Charles Booker Wins Democratic US Senate Primary

"We're going to beat Rand Paul," Booker confidently predicted, by "inspiring a vision that encourages people to believe things can be better."

Brett Wilkins ·


As Senators Try to Expand War Crimes Jurisdiction, Critics Ask if US War Criminals Count

"I've got names and addresses of American war criminals if any senators are interested," quipped veteran journalist Nick Turse.

Brett Wilkins ·


Climate Campaigners Demand Oxford, Cambridge Stop Taking Fossil Fuel Money

"This funding undermines climate justice, fueling the continued disproportionate harms of the fossil fuel industry on marginalized communities worldwide."

Julia Conley ·


Palestine Defenders Hail Rep. Tlaib's 'Historic' Nakba Resolution

"The time has come for the United States to correct an ongoing historical mistake it committed by recognizing the Palestinian Nakba, and to pressure Israel to respect American values that call for justice, equality, and freedom for all."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo