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.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to reporters

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks with reporters as he leaves the U.S. Capitol building on October 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Sanders to Hold Budget Committee Hearing on Medicare for All

"The need for fundamental healthcare reform has never been so urgent," said critical care physician Dr. Adam Gaffney.

Andrea Germanos

Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders announced Monday that there will be a hearing on Medicare for All this Thursday.

"We spend twice as much per capita on healthcare as any other nation but with worse health outcomes for our people," Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted Monday. "Does that make sense to anyone? It's time for Medicare for All."

The hearing, which Sanders first announced in March, is called "Medicare for All: Protecting Health, Saving Lives, Saving Money," and is scheduled to feature testimony from witnesses including Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School Adam Gaffney, National Nurses United executive director Bonnie Castillo, and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director Phillip Swage.

"The need for fundamental healthcare reform has never been so urgent," said Gaffney—a critical care physician and past president of Physicians for a National Health Program—on Monday.

An index released in March by Gallup and West Health showed that 44% of the U.S. adult population, or roughly 112 million Americans, had difficulties paying for healthcare or prescribed medicines over the last three months.

A study released months earlier also by West Health and Gallup found that Covid-19 has worsened fears about payments for those needs, with nearly six in 10 U.S. adults saying that they are more worried about the cost of healthcare.

Forty-eight percent of adults also said the pandemic worsened their view of the U.S. healthcare system. Sixty percent said that because of Covid-19, they were more concerned that some Americans have unequal access to quality healthcare services.

Sanders, a longtime proponent of a single-payer healthcare system, has frequently pointed to the CBO's estimate that Medicare for All could deliver Americans $650 billion in annual savings while providing better care and outcomes than the current for-profit system.

Thursday's Senate Budge Committee hearing will mark the second congressional hearing on Medicare for All since the pandemic began in 2020.

The first was held by the House Oversight Committee in March and examined Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Debbie Dingell's (D-Mich.) Medicare for All Act of 2021.

That hearing was co-led by Rep. Cori Bush, who said at the time that "Congress must implement a system that prioritizes people over profits, humanity over greed, and compassion over exploitation."

"We are going to make healthcare a human right in this country," she said.


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.

Greenhouse Gases Trapped Nearly 50% More Heat Last Year Than in 1990: NOAA

"Getting hot in here," said one climate campaigner. "Gotta get congressmen and senators to do more midday outdoor events in their dark suits."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Perverse' Supreme Court Ruling 'Effectively Ensures That Innocent People Will Remain Imprisoned'

"This is radical. This is horrifying. This is extremely scary," said one public defender.

Jessica Corbett ·


Arizona, West Virginia Residents Risk Arrest to Demand End to Filibuster

"Our democracy is on life support," said campaigners. "There's no time to ask nicely."

Julia Conley ·


Campaign Launches 'Summer of Action' to Protect Medicare From Stealth Privatization

Medicare "is under threat today from the constant efforts of private insurance companies and for-profit investors who want to privatize it and turn it into yet another shameful opportunity to make money," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

Kenny Stancil ·


Florida Student's Graduation Speech About Curly Hair Highlights Cruelty of 'Don't Say Gay' Law

Having to use a euphemism to discuss his identity "was a really dehumanizing decision," said Zander Moricz. "I just had to be clever about it—but I shouldn't have had to be."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo