Over 100 civic and social justice groups in 55 cities across the country have formed a coalition to march for Medicare for All, and they’re raising the heat to make it a human rights issue.
The coalition, which includes the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Black Women Organizing for Power, is taking action this Saturday, July 24th with a series of coordinated marches from coast-to-coast. A march in the country’s capital is scheduled for 11 am- 5pm ET.
The coalition is fighting for passage of H.R. 1976 (the “Medicare for All Act of 2021”), sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). The Act would guarantee universal health benefits to cover a variety of medical needs, including hospital and 24-hour-a-day emergency services; inpatient and outpatient prescription drugs and medical devices; mental health and substance use treatment services; comprehensive reproductive, maternity, and newborn care; as well as oral health, audiology, and vision care, among other services.
Though it’s pinned as a “left-wing” issue, nearly half of Republican voters have said they want Medicare for All and 69% of voters overall want it to pass, as per a HarrisX poll.
According to a Gallup poll, nearly 20% of the country (46 million people) cannot afford quality medical care, with 29% of Black respondents saying they are unable to afford quality care, the highest of any ethnic group.
The pandemic has illustrated the danger of primarily tying one’s employment with the ability to get health care, as job precarity and unemployment exploded as coronavirus spread last year, leaving many communities vulnerable and uninsured.
The March for Medicare for All coalition is attempting to heighten the urgency of passing H.R. 1976, with a petition that demands the U.S. government pass “a Single-Payer Healthcare System that is free at the point of service to all Americans regardless of sex, age, creed, race, religion, gender identity, citizenship, disability, geographic location, income, and employment status.”
If the petition demands are not met by August 6, 2021, the coalition states, they will “file a Human Rights violation complaint with the United Nations.”
More information about the petition and coalition are available on their website.