Home Healthcare Video: Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA08), Bobby Scott (D-VA03) Lay Out Progress, Path...

Video: Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA08), Bobby Scott (D-VA03) Lay Out Progress, Path to Universal Health Care Coverage

Rep. Beyer: "It's frustrating to wait for Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema, but we're going to fight to keep the health care pieces"; Rep. Scott: The Public Option "would gradually become a single payer because everybody would be would be choosing it"

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On Thursday, October 7, the National Affairs Committee of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) held a forum with Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA03), as well as Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA07), along with subject matter experts, regarding how best to move the country towards universal health care coverage. See below for video, as well as some of the remarks by the members of Congress from Virginia.

Rep. Beyer: “I can’t think of a better topic because it’s something so desperately needed and long overdue…I am proud to be a co-sponsor of Congresswoman Jayapal’s Medicare for All Act of 2021. When Pramila took over the leadership of that effort, the bill was more of an idea on paper, but she and her team have done a fantastic job turning into  something very concrete – clear legislative language – something that we can implement. And I’m proud of her leadership and dedication for making that happen.”

“I’ve been a supporter of universal healthcare for a long long time. I’m an Army brat, so I grew up with healthcare through the military and just always expected it would be there, But I’ve really been supportive of universal since I got to serve with Senator Bobby Scott in the State Senate starting back in January 1990.”

“It’s never been more obvious than during COVID, when millions of Americans lost their jobs and lost their health insurance, and thankfully many were able to transition to the Obamacare exchanges. But it became very apparent why tying healthcare to employment no longer makes sense.”

“I’m very proud of the the reconciliation bill. It’s taking a while to get it done, but I’m confident that almost everyone or every one of the 222 Democrats in the House and every one of the 50 [Democratic] senators there will vote for it. Four key pieces – dental vision and hearing care for Medicare, that’s a big big improvement…It also includes the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Act…which finally reels in drug pricing, it allows Medicare not just to have to pay list price but to actually negotiate the drugs and it includes premium tax credits to make Obamacare plans more affordable. And finally and really relevant, there’s all a bunch of states that never expanded Medicaid…There’s all those non-expansion states and sadly the people that are most affected by not having Medicaid…they are usually people of color and certainly people who have very little money they’re they’re the the lowest income among us so there’s a provision in Build Back Better to address that Medicaid gap…So yeah we’re all waiting on the Senate. It’s frustrating to wait for Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema, but we’re going to fight to keep the health care pieces…again, I think everyone’s greatest two priorities are
number one the environment, number two health care.  We’ve all compromised a
little bit; we we started off the year hoping that we could get the Medicare age down to 60. That’s probably not going to happen in Build Back Better, but there are all other really really good things that are going to make a difference and the important part in Pramila’s Medicare for All…We can’t afford to lose but three members in the House and only one
in the Senate…[Thank you for helping to making sure that every citizen in the wealthiest country in the history of mankind one day soon has the guaranteed right to health
insurance.”

Rep. Scott: “I want to welcome everyone who’s logged in to this evening’s Zoom to make…so we can make it clear that healthcare is a right not a privilege. It ought to be a  right just like it is in just about every other industrialized nation.”

‘We know there’s a lot of work to be done to achieve universal health care in this country. And thankfully we’re making progress. Just last year, Congress was able to finally put an end to surprise billing, a practice that left too many patients price gouged in situations they could not help. And of course in 2010, the Affordable Care Act took a monumental step towards improving coverage options and affordability for all Americans.  After years of Republican obsession with repealing or dismantling the ACA, I think they finally got that out of their system and Democrats have been able to focus on building on their progress.”

“Republicans have refused in many states to expand Medicaid even though…there’s a 90 percent federal match, it’s virtually cost-free to the states, but they still won’t expand it.”

“But we are on a path to doing better. The American Rescue Plan passed earlier this year…We were able to make the Affordable Care Act tax subsidies more generous and
available to more people, a key piece to economic security for workers and families  suffering in the wake of the pandemic. And so the fight to provide all Americans with basic health care as a right didn’t begin this month or this year, it’s a right Democrats have been fighting for decades. And we’re working towards true universal coverage in a single-payer system where every person would be guaranteed health care…that’s a proposal I’ve long supported.”

“One of the ways we can continue making progress is continue to reduce the maximum percentage…you have to pay for your  health care under the Affordable Care Act. We need to continue investing to reduce those numbers and we need to add a public
option…the public option makes the most sense…it is a lower-cost and better product; it would gradually become a single payer because everybody would be would be choosing it.”

“We’ve also need to continue working on reconciliation. There are a lot of…proposals in the Build Back Better plan, including improving Medicare to include vision, hearing and dental – these are quality of life issues that everybody ought to have access to; expand
subsidies to make coverage more affordable; we’re going to make improve and get to try to get down as close gradually down to zero so you’ll have the universal coverage at no cost…Now we know our work is far from done, there are too many people struggling to
access their health care needs. But with continued progress we can eventually achieve that goal…”

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