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Key House panel sets hearing to weigh universal healthcare proposals

By
Clyde Hughes
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announces his Medicare for All Act of 2019 at the U.S. Capitol on April 10. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announces his "Medicare for All Act of 2019" at the U.S. Capitol on April 10. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 4 (UPI) -- An influential House committee said it will hold a hearing next week to evaluate various concepts for universal healthcare, including the "Medicare For All"-style plans proposed by two Democratic presidential candidates.

The House energy and commerce panel's health subcommittee set the hearing -- titled "Proposals to Achieve Universal Health Care Coverage" -- for Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m. EST.

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The hearing will examine multiple proposals for healthcare reform and related legislation. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, two of the party's most prominent presidential candidates, have proposed "Medicare for All" plans.

"Universal healthcare coverage has long been the North Star of the Democratic Party and it's why the health subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine seven legislative proposals," panel Chairman Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. and subcommittee Chair Rep. Anna Eshoo said in a statement Tuesday.

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A "Medicare for All" bill was introduced in the House earlier this year by Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich. Jayapal has been calling for a hearing to examine the bill for months.

"[The hearing is] proof of the historic momentum we have in our fight to ensure quality, affordable healthcare for everyone through 'Medicare for All,'" Jayapal tweeted.

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"The [Medicare for All] movement has never been stronger. From labor unions, to grassroots advocates, to [House Democrats], there is growing recognition that only one plan guarantees comprehensive, quality health coverage and lower overall health care costs for families."

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she fears such a plan would be too costly and could heavily influence the Democratic presidential candidates, potentially turning off voters who prefer to keep private health insurance.

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