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Petition: Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act – Support Letter

Support the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act

On May 15, 2020, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal officially introduced the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act, “to eliminate all out-of-pocket health costs for every person in America during the COVID-19 crisis.” We at Healthy California Now see this as the necessary legislation it is, and as a potential stepping stone to single-payer health care. Sen. Sanders was joined by Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), all of whom cosponsored the legislation, S. 3790. Please read and sign our petition for Sen. Diane Feinstein to join this fight! Then contact your Congressmember and urge them to cosponsor the House bill, H.R. 6906 — in California, Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) co-led the effort, and Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) is an original cosponsor.

 

Read the Petition

Dear Senator Feinstein,

The unprecedented emergency presented by the COVID-19 pandemic poses an extreme threat to the health and economic survival of workers, families, and retirees around the world.

Before the onset of rising unemployment and economic distress, many Americans were already experiencing difficulty coping with a dysfunctional healthcare system to obtain routine health maintenance, acute and chronic care, and long-term care of the elderly and disabled.

The viral pandemic has brought our health care and public health systems to the verge of breakdown while making timely and affordable access even more difficult.

While we believe that the best long-term solution is establishment of a single-payer Medicare-for-All national health program, we recognize the value of two interim measures the federal government can and must take immediately to protect our security and ensure our survival:

  1. Grant universal access to health care to prevent mass casualties and bring the epidemic under control.
  2. Alleviate the excessive costs that have made health care unaffordable for so many.

The Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act (S. 3790) would accomplish these measures:

  1. For individuals who already have public or private insurance, Medicare will cover the deductibles, co-payments, and other cost-sharing for all medically necessary health care, including prescription drugs.
  2. For uninsured people, Medicare will fully cover the cost of medically necessary health care, including prescription drugs for which Medicare will pay the same price as the VA.

These provisions will cover all US residents and remain in effect until the federal government certifies that an FDA-approved vaccination for COVID-19 is widely available to the public. The legislation also bans surprise billing and balance billing, and prevents private insurance companies from increasing copayments and deductibles, or decreasing coverage, for the duration of the health care crisis.

The undersigned organizations call on our elected officials to pass the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act with the utmost urgency.

Sincerely,

Cindy Young
President, Healthy California Now

Michael Thaller
President, Progressive Democrats of America – CA

Dr. Bill Honigman
California State Coordinator, Progressive Democrats of America

Barry Hermanson
Green Party of California

Perrie Briskin
UAW Local 2865

Kathleen Healey, MD and Corinne Frugoni, MD
Co-Chairs, CA Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program

Georgia Brewer
Associate Director, California OneCare

Judith and Kevin Anderson
Healthcare Action Committee

Long Beach Gray Panthers

Rob Means
Co-Coordinator, South Bay Progressive Alliance

Greg Miller
Santa Clara County Single Payer Health Care Coalition

Sign the Petition

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