Women's March plans 'Medicare for All' day of lobbying in DC

Women's March plans 'Medicare for All' day of lobbying in DC
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

The Women's March and other progressive organizations are planning to lobby for "Medicare for All" legislation on the eve of the annual Women's March in Washington, D.C., this weekend.

Members of the groups are planning to storm Capitol Hill on Friday for a "lobby day" to kick off a weekend of events surrounding the annual march through downtown Washington.

The national Women's March organization expects that "thousands" of people will participate in the lobbying push on Friday, Women's March senior adviser Winnie Wong told The Hill.

Participants will be instructed to go directly to their lawmakers' offices throughout the day to voice support for a pair of bills introduced by progressive lawmakers.

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"Medicare for All" has been a rallying cry for progressive activists and lawmakers in recent years, with an increasing number of Democratic politicians including it in their policy platforms. 

The Women's March is seeking to drum up support for two "Medicare for All" bills: one expected to be introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and another from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' Sanders slams decision not to charge officer who killed Eric Garner Cardi B says voters let Bernie Sanders down MORE (I-Vt.), who has long spearheaded single-payer healthcare efforts.  

Wong told The Hill that the Women's March has identified Jayapal's bill as "the most comprehensive and inclusive single-payer bill of all the different 'Medicare for All' bills out there." 

"We hope that she will be able to launch the bill with more co-signers than the previous bill had," Wong said.

A previous form of the bill, introduced by former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersEXCLUSIVE: Trump on reparations: 'I don't see it happening' McConnell: Reparations aren't 'a good idea' This week: Democrats move funding bills as caps deal remains elusive MORE (D-Mich.) during the previous Congress, received 124 co-sponsors

Other progressive organizations that will participate in the lobbying push Friday include Center for Popular Democracy.

"The grassroots energy over the past two years has brought us to a point where the people have the opportunity to set an agenda,” Jennifer Epps-Addison, the co-executive director of Center for Popular Democracy Action, said in a statement.

“With the most diverse Congress in history, we can turn our momentum into policy to improve the lives of all people in this country. We support Medicare for All because it ensures that all people can access the care that they need to thrive."

The incoming Democratic chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooDemocratic chair: Medicare negotiating drug prices not moving before August House bill targets use of Pentagon networks for child pornography Bipartisan House duo unveils amendment to block Iran strike without Congress's approval MORE (D-Calif.), said this week that she intends to hold a hearing on several “Medicare for all” proposals. 

Eshoo clarified on Thursday that she would hold the Medicare for All hearing "if the Health Subcommittee can get to it with perhaps a joint hearing with the other Committees that share jurisdiction."

House Democrats are largely divided over single-payer health care, and there is some ambiguity over its future in the Democratic-led House.

A recent poll conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company found that 70 percent of respondents support providing "Medicare for All" for Americans. 

-- Updated on Jan. 18 at 1:58 p.m.