By William Davis
The Daily Caller, January 3, 2019
Soon-to-be Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is willing to test the waters on an important grassroots progressive issue.
The new speaker announced her support for “Medicare for All” hearings through a spokesperson, according to The Hill. The creation of a single-payer healthcare system has been key issue for many on Pelosi’s left flank.
While Pelosi has never endorsed the legislation, she has previously promised that it would be ‘evaluated,’ if Democrats took control of the House.
According to a report from The Washington Post, a group of House Democrats are planning to re-introduce the bill at the start of the 116th Congress. The Rules Committee and the Budget Committee are expected to conduct hearings on “Medicare for All” legislation early in the caucus.
Health committees finalized in new Congress
By Dan Diamond
POLITICO Pulse, January 17, 2019
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) was announced Wednesday to lead the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, the last unfilled seat among the Hill’s health leadership positions.
Anna Eshoo walks back vow on Medicare-for-all hearing. The Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee chair told reporters Wednesday afternoon she’d hold a hearing on Democrats’ Medicare for All proposals — a seeming break with Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) that would mark a significant victory for the party’s progressive wing.
But by Wednesday evening, the California Democrat was having second thoughts, telling POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn that her subcommittee needed to prioritize shoring up Obamacare and crafting sweeping drug price reforms.
Only after the committee gets done with those issues, Eshoo said, will she see if there’s any “spare time” to tackle Medicare for All — an outcome that she suggested was unlikely.
By Don McCanne, M.D.
Through a spokesperson, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her support for “Medicare for All” hearings, which pleased the single payer Medicare for All advocacy community.
The two subcommittees of the House of Representatives that introduce major health legislation are those of the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee. So who has the leadership appointed to chair these committees, and what are their positions on the issue?
Rep. Lloyd Doggett was appointed Chair of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. Though he has been a member of the House since 1995, he has never become a co-sponsor of HR 676 – The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. Also he has not joined the House Medicare for All caucus. Regarding health care, he has stated that he was “committed to individual choices” (Wikipedia), which sounds like an endorsement of our fragmented, multi-payer health care system. Do not look for a Medicare for All hearing before his committee.
Rep. Anna Eshoo has been appointed Chair of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. We were pleased when she announced yesterday that she would hold a hearing on Medicare for All. But by last evening, barely enough time for the leadership to contact her, she announced that the priorities of shoring up Obamacare would make it unlikely that there would be enough time for a Medicare for All hearing.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal is expected to release very shortly her extensively revised version of HR 676, the Medicare for All Act of 2019. If it receives a hearing at all, it will likely be in the Budget Committee as a token concession to supporters. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the media coverage.
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