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 pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat The PPP excludes black and Latino small businesses, so fix it Professor emeritus reacts to Biden's 'you ain't black' comments MORE (D-Wash.), the primary co-sponsor of the House Medicare for All legislation, told reporters Tuesday that committee chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealHouse Democrats' bill would create a second round of direct coronavirus relief payments Lawmakers question why dead people are getting coronavirus checks Congress, Treasury tussle over IRS guidance on .2T COVID-19 package 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 DingellPelosi: George Floyd death is 'a crime' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Coal company sues EPA over power plant pollution regulation | Automakers fight effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards | EPA watchdog may probe agency's response to California water issues Automakers fight effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards 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 PelosiHouse cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat 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.