Nurses for Single Payer has enthusiastically endorsed the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act (HCEGA) , introduced in Congress by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (H. R. 6906) and Sen. Bernie Sanders ( S. 3790). HCEGA would guarantee health care coverage to all Americans during the pandemic, a critical need given the enormity of the economic and health care crisis.
HCEGA would remove all financial barriers to health care during COVID-19. It would leave existing insurance in place, but would cover all copays, deductibles, and co-insurance for those with existing insurance, using Medicare as secondary wrap-around insurance. Those who are uninsured would be fully covered by Medicare. This coverage would be for all U.S. residents until there is a widely available and effective vaccine for COVID-19.
Here in Oregon, Sen. Merkley and Reps. Blumenauer, Bonamici, and DeFazio are original co-sponsors of this legislation. Sen. Wyden has yet to co-sponsor. Click here to find who represents you, and how to contact them.
As nurses, we understand the critical importance of universal access to care for all of our patients. Tens of millions of people have recently lost their insurance as they became unemployed; tens of millions of Americans – disproportionately BIPOC – were already uninsured or underinsured when the pandemic began.
Providing universal access to care is one initial step in addressing the horrific racial disparities in health and health care which COVID-19 has laid bare. We at NFSP are committed to health care as a human right, and to health care policy which fights against the racist inequities in our current system.
Read more about HCEGA here.