Progressive Democrats Celebrate Nearly 100 Cosponsors for Medicare for All Legislation

Apr 21, 2017

By Mike Hersh, National Communications Director and Donna Smith, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America

Who: Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and allies
What: Celebrate Cosponsors of HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act
Why: To help save lives and taxpayer dollars through a comprehensive healthcare system

Healthcare Activists Demand Medicare For All

Contacts: Donna Smith Executive Director
Mike Hersh Communications Director

Washington, DC–Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and our allies recognize and thank our National Advisory Board member Representative John Conyers, Jr., the lead sponsor of HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. We also thank the other cosponsors–including PDA National Advisory Board members Representatives Barbara Lee, Keith Ellison, Raul Grijalva, and James McGovern. PDA appreciates these Congress members for their leadership and insight.

Donna Smith, PDA Executive Director said, “Because of my family’s harrowing experiences with the fundamental failure of the American healthcare system, I work tirelessly to help realize healthcare as a human right. I have known and admired Rep. Conyers for several years. His legislation is the best hope for millions of Americans who stand one accident or illness away from bankruptcy, homelessness, or even death. Therefore, my personal commitment to HR 676 knows no bounds.”

Smith added, “I am thrilled to see the list of cosponsors growing toward 100–the highest total ever achieved. During the 114th Congress, there were 62 cosponsors, 63 in the 113rd, 77 in the 112th, 87 in the 111th, and the previous high mark of 93 in the 110th Congress. Each and every member of Congress enjoys taxpayer-funded healthcare. They owe it to all Americans to let the rest of us join them in a single payer / Medicare for All system.”

PDA Advisory Board’s newest member, Filmmaker Michael Moore, creator of the award-winning documentary SiCKO, said, “You live in a country where a majority of its citizens … want a single-payer true universal health care system,” speaking on a conference call PDA organized.

Donna Smith, added, “I was honored to appear in SiCKO because it dramatized the failure of our current reliance on for-profit private health insurance. Rep. Conyers has introduced HR 676 in each congressional session since 2003, and PDA has organized in support of this legislation as a top priority since our launch in 2004. We invited Rep. Conyers to speak at the PDA organizing meeting in Roxbury, MA. He agreed to serve on our Advisory Board soon afterward.”

Smith noted, “On April 8th, PDA activists rallied at health care facilities nation wide, as part of a massive coalition that included the National Nurses United, (NNU); Healthcare-NOW; People Demanding Action; the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare; Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP); Social Security Works; Single Payer Action Network (SPAN) Ohio; Our Revolution; and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local One, among many other activist organizations and labor unions. We are confident that these and our other ongoing efforts helped persuade the new cosponsors to sign on.”

Mike Hersh, PDA Communications Director said, “PDA Activists hand-delivered specially written letters to 100s of Congressional offices, both on Capitol Hill and in their home districts. Many met with the staff of several of the most recent cosponsors. The letter read (in part), ‘We call your attention to studies that show Expanded and Improved Medicare for All is the best healthcare solution. It would save lives, and help taxpayers and employers save money. With 24 million people at risk of losing access to healthcare, now is the time for you to contact Rep. John Conyers’ office … to cosponsor H.R. 676, the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act.'”

Rep. Conyers has said, “[N]o one has worked harder … fighting for national healthcare, both inside and outside the Democratic Party, than PDA.”

Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots political action committee, founded transform the Democratic Party and U.S. politics by working inside the party and outside with peace, justice, civil rights, environmental, healthcare, and other reform movements.

In addition to five members of Congress and Michael Moore, progressive leaders including Actress Mimi Kennedy, Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler, Author Jim Hightower, Radio Hosts / Authors Lila Garrett and Thom Hartmann, and activists Michael Lighty, Medea Benjamin, Steve Cobble, Kristin Cabral, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Robert Score, and Dr. Paul Song, M.D. also serve on the PDA National Advisory Board.

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Contacts: Donna Smith Executive Director
Mike Hersh Communications Director