“After much deliberation,” said Langevin in a prepared statement, “I have determined that this is a policy worthy of serious consideration, so I have decided to cosponsor the Medicare for All Act.”
“I have long said the Affordable Care Act is not a perfect law, and I continue to look for bipartisan solutions that improve our current health care delivery system and support us on the path to universal coverage,” he continued. “Single payer is one of many options for achieving universal health care, and I am glad to see that the Medicare for All Act has renewed a national dialogue on how this country can lower barriers to care, reduce costs, and improve outcomes.”
With Langevin’s support for Medicare for All, three of Rhode Island’s four-person delegation support the concept. Yesterday, RI Future reported half of them did. Senator Jack Reed, who long ago voted for a single payer system as a congressman, is the lone holdout. “He is reviewing the details of Senator Sanders’ bill to see how Rhode Island would be helped,” said Reed’s spokesman Chip Unruh. “He is also seeking assurances the bill would not disrupt care for our military and their families.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline both cosponsor Medicare for All bills in their respective chambers.
“It’s time we had a real conversation about creating a national health plan,” Whitehouse said in announcing his support for the legislation. “We have come a long way under Obamacare, but I still hear from Rhode Island families and small business owners that health care costs are too high. I am committed to bringing down those costs while improving the quality of care for Rhode Islanders.”
Cicilline was the first member of the Rhode Island delegation to support a Medicare for All bill, signing onto Congressman John Conyer’s bill in January.
“I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of the Medicare for All Act,” he told RI Future earlier this week. “Medicare is an efficient and tested health care delivery model, and expanding it for every American will further improve access to health care and reduce costs.”
Langevin cited constituent pressure as a reason he decided to cosponsor Medicare for All.
“Every August, I travel the Second Congressional District to hear from my constituents about the issues important to them,” he said in his prepared statement. “During the two town hall meetings I held last month and in other visits
RI Future filed this report from Narragansett on one of Langevin’s August town hall events, reporting that constituents peppered Langevin with questions about Medicare for All. One of the constituents at a Narragansett Town Hall event was South Kingstown progressive agitator Jonathan Daly-Labelle, who today thanked Langevin for his support, but also promised to keep the pressure on.
“It is good to see Jim Langevin finally come out and support Bernie and John Conyers’ Medicare for All legislation,” Daly-LaBelle said. “The people in District 2, and people around the state and the country should not have to work this hard to get public servants to do the right thing. We will need to monitor what kind of effort he makes to support – helping win hearts and minds – bringing access to health care for all.”