SEATTLE – Seattle threw its support behind a universal health care bill introduced in the U.S. House.
This past Tuesday, Mayor Jenny Durkan signed the 'Medicare for All' Council Resolution, making Seattle the first city in the nation to support U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal’s bill to establish a national health insurance program.
The bill will most likely receive hearings in the Democratic-controlled House, but prospects for passage in the Republican-controlled Senate are virtually zero. Even then, the president would likely veto the bill.
The bill calls for a two-year transition to universal health coverage.
Those over the age of 55 and under the age of 19 would become eligible after one year and every person in the U.S. would be eligible after two years.
Nearly 30 million Americans are uninsured, according to the U.S. census. About another 40 million cannot afford the costs of their co-pays and deductibles.
The plan would cover essentially everything, ranging from hospital visits, primary care, medical devices, lab services, maternity care, and prescription drugs to vision and dental benefits. It would also cover abortion services.
There would be no out-of-pocket costs when you visit the doctor, let alone an emergency room.
Jayapal’s plan also covers long-term care options for nursing services – which is not covered by the current Medicare program nor Bernie Sander’s single, government-run system in the Senate.
It’s even more generous than other health care systems in other countries like Canada, where vision or dental care, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, and home health services are not covered.
As of now, the bill doesn’t outline how such a benefit package would be paid for.
“I am proud to support our Congresswoman’s bill and I’m excited to offer Seattleites a chance to support Rep. Jayapal’s bill, which now has more than 100 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives,” said Councilmember M. Lorena González, in an issued statement.