Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), a top progressive Democrat in the House, on Tuesday called for hearings and a vote on “Medicare for all” legislation now that her party has taken back the House.
“We are going to be pushing for it to get a hearing….to have this debate on the floor,” Jayapal said on an organizing call with the National Nurses United union on Tuesday night.
Jayapal, who is co-chair of the Medicare for All caucus in the House, said it is not enough for Democrats to just say they are cosponsors of Medicare for All. Now that Democrats have won back the House, she said, “when we have that majority we need to make sure that we put it to use.”However, House Democratic leadership has not expressed a willingness to hold a vote on Medicare for All, and top leaders have not signed onto the legislation.
Organizers from liberal groups, led by National Nurses United, said on the call that they are going to be organizing grassroots support, including phone calls especially targeting the the 13 House Democrats on the key committees of Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce who they said have not signed onto the Medicare for All bill yet.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the idea’s leading champion, also joined the call and called for “massive grassroots support” to push for Medicare for all.
Jayapal told The Hill earlier Tuesday that she and other members of the Medicare for All caucus are working on a revised version of the legislation, known as H.R. 676, which she hopes to come to agreement on “over the next month” to be ready for introduction in the next session of Congress.