WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement today in support of the introduction of the Medicare for All Act of 2019:
“Healthcare in the United States should be a right, not a privilege. But for far too many families, the ability to go to the doctor when they’re sick, afford their prescriptions, and access critical care is further and further out of reach. While previous presidents and Congress have understood and taken steps toward this goal, that changed in the 1990s as a result of an unholy alliance between drug companies and insurance companies. This attack on healthcare was then fueled by right-wing market extremists who did everything in their power to destroy Obamacare.
“Today, the Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress continue to sabotage Americans’ access to affordable healthcare: They’re trying to gut protections for the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, restricting access to crucial preventive care, undermining reproductive health services, and providing tax breaks to corporations that buy up community hospitals and then harm the people who work there and the patients they serve.
“From many different vantage points—as a daughter of an aging parent, a local union president, the chair of New York City’s Municipal Labor Committee, a negotiator of dozens of union healthcare contracts, and the president of the nation’s second-largest union of healthcare professionals—I have seen how a lack of coverage can lead to anxiety, lack of care, financial catastrophe, bankruptcy and death. And I believe we have a moral obligation as a country to do something.
“It’s time Americans have a long-term sustainable solution. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All Act is one such solution. I thank him for proposing one option among several potential paths to achieve this goal.”