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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 JayapalPublic option won't serve the public The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history Rep. Adriano Espaillat tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Wash.), the primary co-sponsor of the House Medicare for All legislation, told reporters Tuesday that committee chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealJudge says Treasury must give Trump 72 hours before releasing tax info to Democrats Trump's lawyers seek clarity about how tax-return case will proceed following Biden inauguration IRS says start of tax filing season delayed until Feb. 12 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 DingellDemocrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor Growing number of lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol siege Democrats offer bill fining lawmakers who don't wear masks in Capitol 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 PelosiBiden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop More hands needed on the nuclear football Sunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus 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.