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Healthcare is a Human Right – Congressman Frank Mrvan Should Support It

By Members of Northwest Indiana Medicare for All

For the past 5 1/2 years, the grassroots group, Northwest Indiana Medicare for All (NWIM4A), has been educating citizens across the region about the benefits and necessity of Congress passing legislation to create a national health insurance system.

Medicare for All would provide high-quality health insurance for all Americans, regardless of age, income or employment status, an improved version of the popular and effective Medicare program for senior citizens.

For this legislative session, in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, with 14 co-sponsors, recently reintroduced the latest version of the Medicare for All Act, S.1655, while in the House, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA, and Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-MI, introduced H.R. 3421, with 112 co-sponsors.

When passed, the legislation will create a national health insurance system with better coverage at a much lower cost than Americans pay today.

Coverage will include dental, vision, hearing and eldercare — any medically necessary procedure — with no co-pays or monthly premiums.

With the average household spending between 15-25% of their income on healthcare, this will come as a tremendous relief.

For people of color, Medicare for All will address the financial component of healthcare disparities that today correlates with poorer outcomes, unnecessary suffering and needless deaths. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation “compared to White people, Black people are more likely to face social and economic challenges that adversely impact health, including higher rates of poverty and food insecurity … Black adults are also more likely than White adults and to report being treated unfairly because of their race/ethnicity while seeking care for themselves or family members.”

Under Medicare for All women will have full access to any reproductive care their doctors prescribe, again, at no out-of-pocket cost.

In 2021, more than 27.2 million people in our country went without health insurance, nonelderly Black people continue to have a higher uninsured rate (11%) than their White peers (7%) and with the ranks of the uninsured expected to rise dramatically as federal supports for state Medicaid programs during the COVID-19 pandemic time out. As a result, between 5 million and 24 million Americans could lose their Medicaid coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and National Public Radio.

Tens of millions more Americans are underinsured. Medical bankruptcies, which currently beset half a million Americans a year, will become a thing of the past as people’s medical care will replace private profit as the focus of the U.S. healthcare system.

Our country is the only industrialized nation in the world without national healthcare. Cities and towns across America are struggling to pay for insurance benefits for their workers. Union negotiators struggle to maintain their members’ health insurance benefits, while 80% of strikes occur over healthcare.

Retirees face complex decisions every year over medical and prescription drug coverage and privatized Medicare called Medicare Advantage, which now covers nearly half of all people on Medicare. All these problems come to an end with Medicare for All.

Last summer, our group knocked on more than 300 doors in the 4th precinct of Highland and received more than 100 responses to a poll on Medicare for All. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, Independents and even Libertarians approved of the legislation, results mirrored in or exceeding those in national polls.

We have met several times with Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-IN, who lives in 4th precinct in Highland, and at our last meeting, we presented our poll results to him. Once again we asked him to join the majority of his Democratic representatives in the House and co-sponsor the Medicare for All Act.

We have informed him of the many labor organizations that endorse Medicare for All. We’ve attended all of his public forums and repeated our requests.

Yet, unlike his predecessor, Rep. Pete Visclosky, and his fellow Democratic Congressman in Indiana, Andre Carson, of Indianapolis, who endorsed the legislation, Mrvan has refused to do so, saying only that he is keeping an open mind.

This legislation is good for our communities and our country and we will continue to promote, poll and educate voters about this vital legislation, until it passes and become law.

Please join us in this fight for Medicare for All.

Northwest Indiana Medicare for All is grassroots group whose mission is to educate NWI residents about the financial and moral superiority of a government-run, single-payer, not-for-profit national health insurance system.

We believe healthcare is a human right. Our goal is to see Medicare for All legislation pass Congress and be signed into law by the President of the United States. Currently, we support House Bill 3421, the Medicare for All Act of 2023, and Senate Bill 1655, the Medicare for All Act of 2023. We meet the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. CST at Steelworkers Local 6787 hall, 1100 North Max Mochal Hwy (State Road 149) in Chesterton, and via Zoom.

Our meetings are open to the public. If you’re interested in M4A, we welcome to attend in person or online. Look for the Zoom link on our Facebook page. Ask to be put on our email list to receive important information and alerts by emailing us at [email protected].

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