Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Medicare Crisis Program: We Need Immediate Action Now

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
WASHINGTON -

Note: U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) today unveiled the Medicare Crisis Program Proposal, which would expand Medicare to Americans who lose their jobs due to the pandemic. It also would expand Medicaid eligibility. 

Just when we need it the most, America’s for-profit health insurance system is giving us its worst. Because our system makes health care coverage dependent on employment status, as millions of Americans lose their jobs due to the worst acute health crisis in America in the past century, they and their families also are losing their insurance coverage.

Could there be any harsher indictment of our current system than this perverse reality?

Meanwhile, millions of Americans who do have insurance are finding that if they need treatment for coronavirus-related illness, they are going to be hit with demands for cost-sharing, which many simply can’t afford.

We would have none of these problems if we had a Medicare for All system, but for right now, we need an immediate solution. The Medicare Crisis Program Act is that solution. The bill would build on the most effective and efficient part of our health care system – Medicare – to ensure everyone has access to the health care they need amid the pandemic.

The bill also would expand Medicaid to cover those who were uninsured before the crisis. In addition, it would prohibit private insurance companies’ heinous out-of-pocket costs– designed to deter access to care – at least as applied to COVID-19 testing and treatment.

Congress should move for immediate passage of the Medicare Crisis Program Act. At the very least, everybody must be guaranteed health care amid a national health emergency, without fear of facing bankruptcy or unmanageable bills.

###

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people – not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

Vaccine Equity Coalition Warns 'Pathetic Trickles of Charity' Won't End Pandemic

"Rich countries are selfishly looking out for themselves but short-changing all of us. We need bold solutions now, not more empty gestures."

Jake Johnson ·


'Do Better,' Say Advocates as Biden Seeks to Double Refugee Admissions

"When thousands of Afghans have been forced to flee their home to find safety, and Haitians are seeking safety on the southern border, the very least the United States can do is set a resettlement goal that meets the moment."

Brett Wilkins ·


Border Patrol Accused of 'Unfathomable Cruelty' for Cracking Whips on Haitians

"It doesn't matter if a Democrat or Republican is president, our immigration system is designed for cruelty towards and dehumanization of immigrants," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Brett Wilkins ·


As Gov. Tim Walz Proclaims 'Minnesota Climate Week,' Ilhan Omar Says 'Stop Line 3'

"The state of Minnesota simply cannot meet our carbon reduction targets if this pipeline goes through," said the Democratic congresswoman. "Our future is on the line."

Kenny Stancil ·


Supreme Court Announces Date for Case Directly Challenging Roe v. Wade

"The fate of Roe v. Wade and legal abortion is on the line."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo