House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks during an event at the National Museum of American History on March 7 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Now is the time for Pelosi to embrace Medicare for all

A little over a year ago a resolution was introduced to the central committee of the San Francisco Democratic Party titled “Resolution Urging Senator Feinstein and Leader Pelosi to Support Medicare for All.”

It was a pretty straightforward request: thank you for defending the Affordable Care Act, but it’s time to move forward. The resolution was passed 19 to 2 with 7 abstentions, and with Feinstein and Pelosi’s representatives mysteriously absent.

This is unsurprising considering the local party and state party delegates have overwhelmingly gone to progressives, including several Democratic Socialists who burst onto the scene after Bernie Sanders’s bid for president. We also saw a single-payer bill make its way through the state Senate, which was supported unanimously by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the California Democratic Party. And currently HR676, the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act, is supported by the majority of House Democrats after years of lukewarm support.

Now Democrats are set to once again control the House and Pelosi is positioned to retake the Speaker’s gavel it is time for her to recognize her party’s support for Medicare for All and join the 70% of Democratic voters who have embraced the idea.

Pelosi constantly talked about the need to lower healthcare costs and how important it was to our midterm sweeps, however the only healthcare positions she’s taken have been the need to lower prescription drug costs and protect the Affordable Care Act. While both are noble causes they do nothing to address the growing costs of healthcare in our nation. She has, on multiple occasions, noted that she has long been an advocate for single payer healthcare in the past, and even advocated for California to pass its own version of Medicare for All, although she failed to endorse the bill that died in our state legislature.

The United States is the only major country in the world that doesn’t guarantee healthcare as a right, yet we pay far more per person and leave millions without coverage. It is immoral to allow CEOs and for profit healthcare companies to benefit off illness and tragedy, and we should allow those who have suffered either the time to rest and recover rather than stress about massive healthcare costs.

Speaker-designate Pelosi, if you wish to truly represent the ideas your constituents and Party it is time you joined the vast majority of Democrats by embracing Medicare for All.

Brandon Harami is an elected delegate to the California Democratic Party representing San Francisco’s west side and an officer with the San Francisco Berniecrats, the San Francisco Our Revolution Group.

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