Guest Commentary: Healthcare for All
By U.S. Congressman Michael E. Capuano
There are many opinions on the types of healthcare Americans should have access to. Republicans in Congress believe we’re all on our own. I believe we’re all in this together. And I firmly believe that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. That’s why I support single-payer healthcare: we need Medicare for all, and we need it now.
Across our district, I’ve seen how important having health insurance is to thousands of people with preexisting conditions. I’ve seen how thankful so many are for the reforms of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that opened the door to coverage for millions for the very first time. And I’ve seen how much working families rely on our doctors, our hospitals, and our community health centers every day. That’s why I’ve worked so hard to bring home funding for programs like the Boston Public Health Commission’s REACH initiative that supports health education and preventive screenings. That’s why I co-founded the Community Health Centers Caucus in Congress to further support these centers and the work they do through the ACA. I’ve made community health centers a priority, working to secure funding so they could expand and increase services.
Today, all of that progress is under attack. The ACA is being ambushed like never before. Republicans have tried to repeal it. The Justice Department refuses to defend it in court. And President Donald Trump continues to play games and try to sabotage Americans’ healthcare rather than work to improve it.
Think about all we would lose if President Trump and the Republicans got their way. We’d go back to an America in which someone could be denied coverage they needed because of a preexisting condition, or where those who could not afford coverage were told they had to get by on their own. That is unacceptable. It would put the health of millions in jeopardy. And I am determined to fight those efforts every step of the way.
But we can go further than just defending the progress we’ve already made. It’s important to think about what comes next. And the next logical step to getting our healthcare system where it needs to be so every American has affordable, quality health care is through Medicare for all. I am a longtime supporter of Medicare for all and have been fighting for it in Congress. With resolve and commitment, I know we can make this important progress.
Every American deserves healthcare. It’s a basic human right. And as soon as Democrats take back Congress, I know we will be on our way to making it a reality. But I’m not giving up the fight for healthy communities here at home while we wait. I will not rest until we make sure that everyone in our neighborhoods has access to care, because we can’t just say that everyone has a right to health care – we need to take action to make sure that they have access to affordable care.
Together, we can stand up to fight for the ACA and push for Medicare for all. It’s up to us to make sure our values are backed up by action. I’m not going to stop fighting for a healthcare system that is affordable, high quality, and universal. I hope you’ll join me in that fight.