February 27, 2019

KENNEDY COSPONSORS MEDICARE FOR ALL

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Joe Kennedy III today announced his support for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s updated Medicare for All bill. As a member of the House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee, Kennedy will continue his role as a prominent voice in the debate about the future of American health care.

“The American health care system is rife with inequities that have no place in the richest, most powerful nation on earth. To combat a system that has become stubbornly oriented around profits rather than patients, government must play a more active role in the guarantee and delivery of health care. There are many options on the table that propose to achieve this goal which deserve our thoughtful consideration and debate. Today I am proud to sign my name to the updated Medicare for All bill being introduced in the House of Representatives because I believe it is a strong roadmap for the future of our system.

“I have held off on supporting past versions of this bill because of serious concerns that those drafts would have limited access to reproductive care by leaving the Hyde Amendment intact; failed to cover long-term care for those with disabilities; and forced the closure of regional hospitals that my constituents and millions of others across the country depend on.

“The updated bill takes concrete steps to address these concerns. I am grateful to Congresswoman Jayapal for her willingness to discuss and remedy these issues, as well as her leadership in greatly improving the substance of this legislation. I am also deeply appreciative of the constituents who have raised their voices with me and my office throughout this process.

“In a newly Democratic House, our work on this bill and this issue has just begun. Any wholesale transformation of our health care system must be undertaken with thought and debate. Issues like long-term coverage, network adequacy for mental health, reimbursement rates for providers, system access and tax impact on working and middle-class families merit a much deeper dive than is currently contained in this legislative text. Those of us who sign our name to this bill must be willing to have a frank discussion with the American people about these difficult and complex issues. In particular, I look forward to engaging with patient advocacy groups and critical providers, from our pediatricians to our mental health practitioners and family doctors, as the debate moves forward.

“This country’s path to universal health care has never been easy. Time and again, political forces have stunted our progress. Despite a steady march forward, our current system is still costing American lives and livelihoods. To fix that requires a thoughtful but dramatic redirection.”

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For Immediate Release:
February 27, 2019 

Contact:
Dan Black (202) 225-5931