NJUHC December 2019 E-Newsletter
As 2019 comes to a close, we can all reflect on our contributions to the growth of the Medicare for All movement at both the state and national levels. The NJUHC has made great strides by increasing our membership, by meeting with local and national legislators, and by providing information in numerous educational forums and at community events. This year the Medicare for All movement has gained great traction across the country, and we will continue to assist that growth into next year.
General Membership Meeting
Our biannual general membership meetings went extraordinarily with guest speakers Ben Day, the National Director Healthcare-NOW, and Kristen Smith, co-founder of the New Jersey Chapter of ADAPT. Ben spoke about some great ways to grow organizations supporting Medicare for All, and spread the message that growing our movement is the most important piece to focus on right now. Kristen gave a wonderful presentation about disability solidarity, and the barriers created by ableism and the privatization of long-term care.
Accomplishments from this Year
We celebrate our success in convincing Representative Frank Pallone to hold a hearing on Medicare for All during the Energy and Commerce Committee. At the hearing, physicians, industry leaders, and economists discussed the potential impact of the Medicare for All proposed legislation on health care costs and access. This inclusion is in sharp contrast to the healthcare discussions in 2010 when the Affordable Care Act was developed, and all the Medicare for All activists and proponents were left completely out of the discussions at the federal level. We have come so far since then! Leading up to the presidential election in 2016, we saw in increase in Medicare for All spoken about in debates and the news. Now, in the democratic presidential debates and in the media, it is the most discussed policy issue.
In March of this year, Congresswoman Jayapal introduced Medicare for All under H.R. 1384, which currently has 118 cosponsors! Following in April, Senator Sanders introduced the Senate version, S. 1129. In New Jersey, Medicare for All has been introduced in legislation in both the Senate (Weinberg) and the Assembly (Jimenez) (A2269 and S2598). The NJUHC has been there every step of the way. We’ve met with legislators to gain their support for M4A; bird-dogged them when needed, carried out e-actions, held rallies, and more. We’ve expanded our network of organizations and traveled throughout NJ to spread the word about M4A — making presentations, tabling at municipal farmers markets, conferences, and other opportunities.
We are also proud that we were able to send co-chair Bryan Nelson to the National Single-Payer Strategy Conference in Oregon, where he attended various workshops and communicated with Medicare for All activists and organizations from around the country. We look forward to hearing more about all he learned in the new year.
We hope that you all enjoy some time to relax as this year comes to an end, and please keep our cause in mind. If you have not gotten a chance to yet, remember to renew your membership with the NJUHC at our web page here, or email us at NJUniversalHealthcare@gmail.