“Each day House Democrats fail to lead, lives are lost… This is an emergency campaign to go after politicians who are unwilling to stand up for our basic human right to healthcare.”
By Jake Johnson for Common Dreams
“Are you for Medicare for All or are you on the side of Big Pharma and the insurance industry?”
That is the fundamental question advocacy group Our Revolution intends to pose to Democratic lawmakers across the country with its nationwide “Medicare for All Emergency Ambulance Tour,” which launched Thursday with the goal of pressuring members of the House majority to support Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s single-payer legislation.
To underscore the life-or-death urgency of passing Medicare for All, Our Revolution members plan to drive an ambulance to the home offices of House Democrats who have yet to sign on to Jayapal’s Medicare for All Act of 2019.
The nationwide tour kicked off Thursday in the Maryland district of House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a long-time opponent of single-payer.
“Each day House Democrats fail to lead, lives are lost,” Joseph Geevarghese, national director of Our Revolution, said in a statement. “It is morally unacceptable for the Democratic House majority to stand by and do nothing as Americans needlessly die and families fall into despair.”
“The truth is Medicare for All is a progressive litmus test—either you’re on the side of the sick and the suffering or you’re with corporate healthcare CEOs,” said Geevarghese.
We’re live in College Park, Maryland asking @LeaderHoyer to sign on to the Medicare for All Act for 2019. We cannot continue to allow corporations to profit off of our health care system.
— Our Revolution (@OurRevolution) May 30, 2019
Speaking at the launch event on Thursday, Dr. Laura Kaplan—a member of Our Revolution Maryland—urged Hoyer to join his fellow Maryland Reps. Jamie Raskin, John Sarbanes, and Elijah Cummings in supporting the Medicare for All Act of 2019.
“It is important to remember that we did not arrive at our current healthcare payment system for moral, ethical, or inevitable economic reasons,” Kaplan said while standing in front of a sign that read “Democrats Against Medicare for All Make Me Sick.”
“As a medical doctor,” Kaplan said, “my prescription for our nation is universal healthcare.”
The Medicare for All ambulance is expected to travel to Texas, Wisconsin, and other states before a final event at the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami, Florida, on June 26 and 27.
“This is no ordinary road trip—this is an emergency campaign to go after politicians who are unwilling to stand up for our basic human right to healthcare,” Geevarghese wrote in an email to supporters on Wednesday. “It is time to hold Democrats—like Steny Hoyer—accountable.”