Healthcare

Dem lawmaker launches PAC to fund candidates who support 'Medicare for All'

A Washington congresswoman is launching a PAC to fund candidates who pledge to support plans for a "Medicare for All" single payer healthcare system.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) announced Wednesday that the Medicare for All PAC would support progressive candidates who support the system championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during his 2016 run for president, as well as ballot initiatives in support of single-payer healthcare.

"American families are hurting and public officials need to do better, because no family should be one healthcare crisis away from bankruptcy or a lifetime of paying off medical debt. Insurance companies, drug manufacturers and special interest groups have been standing in the way of real progress for too long - it's time we fought back," Jayapal says in a press release.

"Health care cannot be a luxury that's only available for the wealthy and well-connected-it is a human right. Now is the time for Medicare For All," she continues.

The freshman congresswoman also released a video message through NowThis News, in which she calls the newly-founded PAC "a grassroots movement committed to supporting candidates and initiatives around the country that are ready to stand with the majority of Americans" and pass single-payer healthcare.

Just over half of Americans, including a wide majority of Democrats, support a move towards single-payer health care, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll released in April.

Sanders's single-payer "Medicare for All" bill has 16 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate, a list which includes several Democrats considered likely 2020 presidential contenders.

Among Democratic congressional candidates who have supported "Medicare for All" are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts. 

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

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