As progressive groups push Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill to bring Medicare for All legislation up for a vote in the new year—a move that would bring Congress closer to passing a proposal supported by 70 percent of voters—one of the nation’s leading advocates for a single-payer system is asking supporters to make their voices heard in the fight to make universal healthcare a reality in the United States.
National Nurses United (NNU), which has been fighting for the proposal since the union’s founding in 2009, is asking members and supporters to host Medicare for All “barnstorms” during a National Week of Action from February 9th to 13th.
“To build the mass collective action we know we’ll need to win, we’re asking activists like you across the country to organize a Medicare for All barnstorm in your community,” the group wrote to supporters in its petition asking for volunteers. “At the barnstorm you’d gather with volunteers near you, talk about the plan to win, and begin organizing to knock doors, make phone calls, and more in your community.”
Organizers believe that the barnstorms will demonstrate the widespread support that Medicare for All has gained in recent years, especially among Democratic voters—84 percent of whom support the proposal—as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and other groups call on the new Democratic House majority to push for a vote on the legislation.
“If Congress brings Medicare For All for a vote, we will see who stands with over 70 percent of Americans, and who stands with the lobbyists. Then we’ll know who needs persuasion—and who needs a primary,” said the PCCC last week.
Public support for Medicare for All has grown amid repeated attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—the latest of which came in the form of a federal judge’s ruling earlier this month that declared the ACA unconstitutional.
Progressives have pointed to such attacks as clear evidence that Medicare for All legislation would provide a stable healthcare system that would extend care to all Americans. As such, proponents are calling for expanding and improving one of the most popular government-run programs instead of allowing states to administer, or refuse to administer, the ACA’s provisions while continuing to prop up the for-profit health insurance industry.
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