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Because It's "An Idea Whose Time Has Come," Rep. Keith Ellison Takes Lead on Medicare for All Legislation


Because It's "An Idea Whose Time Has Come," Rep. Keith Ellison Takes Lead on Medicare for All Legislation

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) drew praise from medical professionals and fellow lawmakers on Wednesday after becoming the new lead sponsor of H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.

"America needs universal, single payer healthcare," Ellison, who is deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), declared on House floor.


Bernie’s bill, S.1804, contains a built-in poison pill against full implementation: the long, wasteful, costly four-year “public option” provisions drafted by Kirsten Gillibrand. (The overwhelming bulk of single-payer’s efficiencies and savings are only realized upon full implementation. Gillibrand’s transition provisions will actually increase aggregate and per-capita healthcare costs throughout most of the four-year period, creating bogus evidence for the specious argument that Medicare for All is too expensive – in reality, it’s dramatically less expensive – and generating public opposition to full implementation. The transition provisions are a Trojan Horse for Big Health and Wall Street.) It also leaves long-term (nursing-home) care in the same penny-pinching, callous, unreliable, and inequitable state bailiwick where Medicaid resides today. Those are the first things that need to be killed if and when HR 676 and S.1804 ever go to reconciliation.

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 was pretty much the diametric opposite of Expanded & Improved Medicare for All and it delayed single-payer for a minimum of ten years. (It also kept the for-profit health sector’s trillion dollars a year in extorted super-profits going for that additional ten years, which was in fact the primary goal of the sector operatives who wrote the bill. It’s also the primary goal of the “Medicare for All Extra” public-option con job recently floated by the Democratic Party’s Wall-Street-funded think tank, the Center for American Progress.) Nonetheless, the entire Congressional Progressive Caucus abandoned HR 676 and voted for its nemesis, the ACA. I hope we don’t see that kind of rank hypocrisy and betrayal this time 'round.


You’re post is correct, the one thing that will make you’re scenario less likely is the public is more educated on this subject than ever before. Are they informed enough, lets hope so.


Rep. Ellison: By all means pursue H.R. 676. but don’t despair if it goes nowhere, however, because our system is such that we will not be able to have it nationally until we have it in a state or two. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said in the 1930s that the states are the laboratories of democracy. All of the progressive institutions, such as the 'Federal Communication Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, F.D.A., E.P.A., Women’s Suffrage, and child labor laws all started first in states. The Single Payer Action Network of Ohio (SPANOhio.org) has a bill before both houses of the State Legislature-- S.B. 91 and H.B. 440, The Ohio Health Care Security Act-- and if it gets on the ballot and the citizens vote for it, everyone in Ohio will have comprehensive health care, including prescription drugs. It will be funded by some combination of taxes, yet to be decided by the Legislature. There is almost enough being wasted in complex bureaucracy to pay for all of the currently un- and under-insured. Those who may need to pay some some tax, will no longer need to pay premiums, co-pays or deductibles. Business will be stimulated and there are an enormous number of what I call ripple effects, such as cheaper auto insurance and the medical component of worker’s compensation. It’s a win-win situation for everyone except the insurance industry since there will no longer be commercial health insurance here.


Excellent post. I see you are up on the big picture relative to corporate power being exercised through the power structure of the Democratic Party.

Of course, there will be those who point out that poison pill provision you cite is “pragmatic”, and not designed as such.

One thing those of us who can actually see what’s happening must do, is to frequent No Labels, and sign up for their newsletters etc so we can stay ahead of the corporate think tank messaging of the schmuck Joe Lieberman.

He, Bill and Hillary, and the rest of the Corporate State Democrats are going to be very busy keeping “the extreme left” as No Labels puts it, in check.

I say cluck all of them.


Extreme leftist


This is a joke.
Ellison is a Democrat. He works for a Party actively campaigning against HR 676 and everything it stands for.
If Ellison truly wants to “advance” HR 676, he will rally cosponsors to insist on a CBO/JCT score on Gerald Friedman’s funding proposals. Which Conyers never did. Which Ellison will never do. Because he’s a Democrat, he will do everything in his power to make sure a publicly funded, privately delivered, nonprofit healthcare system never sees the light of day in America.
Which doesn’t really amount to much. Introduce it. Herd it into committee. Leave it there to die. Then, tell the American people, “We’re working on it.”


You are ignoring the bald fact that the schism between corporate neolibs and less centerist and progressive Democrats is growing to the point where expulsion of the righties is iminent and necessary. A party without an agenda of its own is woefully crippled and the segment of the DNC that supports the rape of the middle class and the utter subjugation of the lower income work force must be sent packing.


I’m ignoring such a “schism” because…
a) there isn’t one. Ellison will be out there raising money for the DCCC and the DNC just as he’s always done. He’ll meet his quota. And if he’s lucky, he’ll be able to garner some political capital pretending to support Single Payer come election time. Just like Conyers.
b) the article didn’t mention that particular bald fact.


HR 676–the mantle that Rep. Keith Ellison is taking on. We all need to pressure Bernie to rewrite his bill to comply with HR 676. Let’s start the phones ringing!


If you do not see the divisiveness of the centrist fiscal policy and its resultant corporate support then we have nothing to talk about here. That being said the article should have mentioned it although the corporat trough feeders would likely prefer to ignore that unpleasant truth.


I agree. Democrats did nothing during Obama’s first few months in office when they had control of the House and a 60-member Senate, since legislation of benefit to average Americans would anger their rich donor class. Being in the minority allows them to voice support for medicare for all, while knowing it has no chance of passing. The hope they have is that people will be willing to donate money.
Democrats in California refused to pass medicare for all when they had a Democratic governor and a super majority in the legislature. In Colorado Bennett and Hickenlooper, Democrats, both opposed medicare for all when it was on the ballot. One can go on and on about issues of benefit to us that the Democrats have opposed.
If Ellison was not a corporate and party tool before he was cheated in his quest of the party chair position by Obama and the establishment, it is clear he is completely on board now.


I understand fully peoples’ cynicism, the Democratic Party has earned it. However, the left doesn’t win in general without a vision, and the Democats lack one. I realize that the Democrats aren’t on the left, but the left too has struggled to come up with a coherent alternative to rally around for a long, long time. There are many theoretical alternatives, there are pockets here and there that have done things progressives could use as a model (everything from municipally owned internet, to public banking like the Bank of North Dakota, to many municipalities supporting worker owned cooperatives across the country). Regardless of the particulars, regardless of any potential flaws in the bill, and regardless as to how corrupt most Democrats are nationally, we on the left take positions on issues that are very popular, the public agrees with us on most every major issue, and yet to this point we barely exist in national politics. If someone in power wants to keep this in the conversation, then by all means. Whether or not it gets passed is up to us any damn way, not Ellison or any other particular politician, and it is going to be a fight. I don’t have much faith in the Democrats at all, I have less faith in the Republicans, but we can take them on. They’re peanuts compared to those pulling their strings. If Ellison pushes for this, good. Let’s use him as a means of keeping this front and center and leave it at that, cause it isn’t going to happen soon anyway.


LOL! I love it when the left gets called “extremist”. Yes, we’re well to their left, and we are right in the middle of popular opinion on every major issue. Them calling us extreme says more about them than us. There’d be none of them left if they weren’t propped up by their donors, and their donors are having to spend more and more polishing those turds.


I think every “extreme leftist” including myself, should bug No Labels relentlessly.

This is a DLC redo, and their hands are all over the DCCC, desperately trying to steer midterms into the hands of “centrists”, a.k.a., Corporate State Democrats.


Notice that Ellison avoids using the term “Medicare for All.”

This is so that backroom deals can work out something new and far less than Medicare for All and then say it was the best they could do.


In almost two years since the Spring/Summer campaign by Bernie Sanders on all liberal issues
of major importance and concern to the American public …

We now have ONE Democratic Representative in the House sponsoring Medicare4ALL?

What a joke.

We need the Democratic Party – IF it wants to continue to exist – to call out citizens everywhere
to march and campaign with them for a national MEDICARE4ALL program.

This is pitiful, not only for the House, but for the Senate – and the DNC which continues to be
corrupted and contaminated by Wealthy/Elite and their money.