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 woos progressives on prescription drug pricing plan Democrats ignore Asian American and Pacific Islander voters at their peril Overnight Health Care: Watchdog details severe trauma suffered by separated children | Judge approves B CVS-Aetna merger | House Dem Caucus chair backs 'Medicare for All' MORE (D-Wash.), the primary co-sponsor of the House Medicare for All legislation, told reporters Tuesday that committee chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealTrump urges judge to deny New York's motion to dismiss state tax return lawsuit Ten notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Trump probes threaten to overshadow Democrats' agenda MORE (D-Mass.) has pledged to hold a hearing sometime in the future.

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The bill from Jayapal and Rep. Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellPolling director: Young voters swayed by health care, economy, gun control The Hill's Morning Report - Can Trump save GOP in North Carolina special election? The Hill's Morning Report - Congress returns: What to expect 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 PelosiProgressives call for impeachment inquiry after reported Kavanaugh allegations The promise and peril of offshoring prescription drug pricing Words matter, except to Democrats, when it involves impeaching Trump 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.