Ways and Means Committee to hold hearing on 'Medicare for All'

The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on "Medicare for All" legislation, a committee spokesperson confirmed.

The hearing represents a step forward for the legislation that is gaining ground in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, since Ways and Means has jurisdiction over health care issues.

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalPelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval House Democrat: Seattle airport's ban on ICE detainee flights helps 'hold a lawless administration accountable' MORE (D-Wash.), the primary co-sponsor of the House Medicare for All legislation, told reporters Tuesday that committee chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealRepublicans attempt to amend retirement savings bill to include anti-BDS language House votes to boost retirement savings Steyer plans impeachment push targeting Democrats over recess MORE (D-Mass.) has pledged to hold a hearing sometime in the future.

ADVERTISEMENT

The bill from Jayapal and Rep. Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellDemocrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure Dems walk Trump trade tightrope Pompeo, Army chief of staff attend ceremony honoring Bob Dole MORE (D-Mich.) has more than 100 co-sponsors in the House. The House Rules Committee on Tuesday held the first-ever hearing on Medicare for All, but it is not one of the primary committees overseeing health care.

The other health care panel, the Energy and Commerce Committee, has so far declined to commit to holding a hearing on Medicare for All, illustrating the divide among House Democrats over the legislation.

An Energy and Commerce Committee spokesman said the committee doesn't have any current plans to hold a hearing of its own, and instead will focus on legislation designed to lower health care costs, including drug pricing bills.

Jayapal said she was encouraged by Tuesday’s Rules Committee hearing, even if it isn’t a primary health care committee.

“It is a serious debate and discussion on a real plan, a 125-page plan,” Jayapal said. “Does it matter that it’s in [the Rules Committee] and not some other committee? In my mind no, because we’re having the discussion.”

Even though he has agreed to a hearing, Neal has not spoken in support of Medicare for All.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi uses Trump to her advantage Fake Pelosi video sparks fears for campaigns Trump goes scorched earth against impeachment talk MORE (D-Calif.) also supports hearings on Medicare for All, but she has declined to support the legislation itself, and has raised doubts about the bill, including its price tag. She has also noted she wants to build on her signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

Updated: 4:39 p.m.