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Medicare-for-all gets hearing in the House

Audrey Conklin

Lawmakers are expected to review seven different universal health care coverage proposals during a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

The hearing will cover Medicare-for-all legislation introduced by Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., along with six other bills proposing universal health care implementation.

"Universal health care coverage has long been the North Star of the Democratic Party and it's why the Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine seven legislative proposals that advance universal coverage for the American people," Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., said in a Tuesday statement.

The hearing comes amid a split among Democratic presidential candidates over Medicare-for-all.

"The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to historic reductions in the uninsured rate and provided health insurance to more than 20 million individuals," Pallone said in a memo.

JUST HOW MUCH DOES MEDICARE-FOR-ALL REALLY COST?

"The number of uninsured Americans decreased from about 44 million in 2013, before the ACA's major coverage provisions took effect, to 27.5 million in 2018. More than half of those who remain uninsured are either eligible for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion or subsidies," the memo continues.

President Trump signed an executive order the day he was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017, instructing Congress "to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" parts of ACA. After the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., voted against repealing ACA in July 2017, Trump's efforts to repeal the act have been stalled.

2020 Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and entrepreneur Andrew Yang have all expressed interest in passing universal health care legislation, such as Medicare-for-all, into law if elected.

"This is an abomination," Sanders tweeted Monday along with a screenshot of a website that reads, "Six Cancer Fundraising Tips to Help You Raise More Money."

"No one should be forced to use GoFundMe for health care. We are the richest country on Earth and we are going to take care of our people. Medicare for All now," he added.

Government-run health care, however, remains less popular than private health care, according to a Gallup poll published Dec. 4 that surveyed a random sample of 1,015 U.S. adults aged 18 or older.

According to the survey, which had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, 54 percent of U.S. adults prefer a private health care system while 42 percent support a government-run system.

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