Advance Notice: Briefs

Dingell joins Dems in announcing first Medicare for All hearing

By: - April 24, 2019 11:30 am

Debbie Dingell at a housing hearing in Detroit | Ken Coleman

The U.S. House Rules Committee next week will hold the first-ever hearing on Medicare for All.

Committee Chair James McGovern (D-Mass.), U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) announced a 10 a.m. hearing on April 30 at the U.S. Capitol on the Medicare for All Act of 2019. The bill would expand Medicare “so that every person living in the United States has guaranteed access to health care with comprehensive benefits,” the press release said.           

Dingell, who was first elected to the Southeast Michigan district in 2014, has carried on her family’s tradition of introducing legislation for universal health care.

She succeeded her husband, former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in history who introduced a single-payer health care bill every term. He passed away in February at the age of 92. He succeeded his father, John Dingell Sr., who began the fight for health care for all.

“The time is now to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare,” Debbie Dingell said. “Medicare for All is the beginning of a national conversation about how to improve healthcare and bring down costs. Chairman McGovern’s leadership in holding this first-ever hearing on Medicare for All is a critical step in this long journey, but much work remains. We’re going to continue engaging stakeholders across the country to realize the vision of universal healthcare coverage.”

Pramila Jayapal

House Resolution 1384, sponsored by Jayapal, has more than 100 co-sponsors, including Dingell. Three others are from Michigan: U.S. Reps. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield).

Medicare for All has become a signature issue for progressives, as Democrats also have fought back against GOP cuts to the Affordable Care Act signed by former President Barack Obama.

“Even with passage of the Affordable Care Act, there are more than 70 million people either without coverage or have coverage that leaves them still unable to access medical care due to prohibitively high out-of-pocket costs,” Jayapal said. “There is no other developed country on the face of the Earth that has a health care system that is as fragmented and costly as ours. The health outcomes and barriers to care in America are the worst of any industrialized nation. Health care is a human right.”

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.