STATEMENT: CAP Action’s Neera Tanden Praises New ‘Medicare for America’ Legislation

Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced new legislation called “Medicare for America,” which would make universal health care a reality in the United States and dramatically rein in out-of-pocket health care costs that are straining too many American families. The proposal stands in stark contrast to Republicans’ health care repeal and sabotage proposals, which have increased costs for consumers and the number of uninsured Americans. Neera Tanden, CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, released the following statement in response to the proposal’s introduction:

Health care is a fundamental human right and the foundation of economic security for all people. In light of the Republican Party’s never-ending legislative, administrative, and legal assault on health care, it’s clear that a version of Medicare for all is necessary for the future of America’s health care system.

“Medicare for America” is an important contribution to the debate over the design of such a program. By making an enhanced Medicare program available to all Americans, “Medicare for America” would guarantee universal health care and dramatically lower out-of-pocket costs. The legislation would ensure that every American, no matter where he or she lives, is no longer subject to Republican sabotage or the whims of insurance companies. Importantly, “Medicare for America” would also enhance security for people with disabilities who rely on long-term services and supports.

By basing payment rates on Medicare rates throughout the system, “Medicare for America” would squeeze profits and administrative costs to lower costs for consumers. The program would also squeeze profits of drug corporations and end their abusive price gouging by instituting price negotiations that are based on the value and innovation of drugs. As with every Medicare for all plan, “Medicare for America” would curb growth in health care costs over the long term.

“Medicare for America” would also give employees a choice between qualified employer coverage and an enhanced Medicare program. Wherever the Democratic Party lands on the issue of employer coverage, the divide with the Republican Party is stark. While the Republican Party seeks to unleash chaos in the current system, rip coverage from 17 million Americans, and roll back protections for people with pre-existing conditions, the Democratic Party is moving forward with ideas to guarantee quality, universal health care.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at cseeberger.af@americanprogressaction.org or 202.741.6292.