Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today stood with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and 15 of her Democratic colleagues to announce the Medicare-For-All Act of 2017. The bill includes a major provision written by Senator Gillibrand that would allow Americans to buy into a public health insurance plan during the transition period to single-payer.
Below are Senator Gillibrand’s full remarks as delivered:
“Thank you Senator Sanders for his amazing leadership on this along with all colleagues and advocates standing behind me.
“The bottom line is this: our democracy only works when regular people stand up and demand action, so thank you to all of you that are here today who have been fighting for Medicare-For-All year after year.
“As I’ve traveled around my state, one of the top concerns I hear from people is that health care is still too expensive.
“Under the health care system we have today, too many insurance companies continue to value their profits more than the value of the people they are supposed to be helping.
“It’s time for something better and I am thrilled to announce that I support Senator Sanders’ Medicare-For-All bill.
“One part of the bill that I worked with my colleagues to put in was the ability for every American to buy into a non-for-profit public option as part of a four-year transition to get to single payer in this country.
“This would create affordable, public health care that is available to any American to purchase in the already available exchanges.
“When I called for a non-for-profit public option during my first House race in 2006, in a two-to-one Republican district, it became very clear to me that this is not a partisan issue.
“Health care should be a right, it should not be a privilege once and for all.
“So I’m standing with Bernie and I hope all of you to make sure that every single American gets access to affordable, high-quality health care with a single-payer system in America.