Sarbanes Voices Support for Universal Health Care

During a House Subcommittee on Health hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) voiced strong support for universal health coverage and refuted false Republican claims about Medicare For All.

“First of all, I want to push back pretty hard on the doomsday scenario that’s being painted by some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, which to me amounts to fearmongering,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “There’s a lot of distortions of what the cost of the Medicare For All proposal would be. These scenarios about what would happen to hospitals, rural hospitals – the fact of the matter is that under the current Medicare and Medicaid programs there’s a lot of investment and that’s what goes into those kinds of hospitals and delivery systems. So if you had a Medicare For All system, I think you would continue to see that kind of investment. It’s not just like we would walk away from these critical parts of our delivery system so that has to be accounted for when we’re having this discussion.”

Sarbanes continued: “The fact of the matter is, Americans like Medicare. They like Medicaid. They like the Veterans Healthcare System. They basically already made a judgement that these systems that are delivered and led out of the public sector are ones that give them a sense of confidence about their healthcare. So, I think that it’s just a matter of time before we get to a place where we have a Medicare For All system.”

Sarbanes concluded: “As Representative Jayapal described it, it’s got the three things you want: It’s got universal coverage and access so everybody is covered; it’s got a comprehensive set of benefits so people understand that when they need to see a doctor, they need to go to a hospital, they need to get care, that is going to be available to them; and it eliminates the wasteful overhead and the predatory practices of the health insurance industry, which has inflicted a lot of suffering on people for decades now. So that’s what Americans want. That’s where we are going to be ultimately. The discussion that we are having … is: how do you transition? How quickly do you get there? I think there’s an appetite to get there as quickly as we can.”