On Tuesday October 17 the Berkeley City Council declared unanimous support for the Medicare for All Act of 2017 (S.1804), introduced to the U.S. Senate by Bernie Sanders on September 13. Sanders promoted his legislation at the 2017 Convention of the California Nurses Association in San Francisco on September 22, along with California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and Our Revolution President Nina Turner.
“Health care should be a human right in the United States, as it is in many countries across the world,” wrote city council members Kate Harrison, Sophie Hahn, Cheryl Davila and Mayor Jesse Arreguin in a letter to the full Berkeley City Council.
The letter noted that a Medicare for All single-payer system would create one entity responsible for financing health care and would endow this system with the ability to negotiate reasonable costs for medical goods and services. Berkeley residents would have the means to lead healthier, happier and more financially secure lives.
“Under the current system, the United States spends more money on health care than any other high-income country in the world, but suffers from lower life expectancies and worse health outcomes. Profit-maximizing health care insurers, pharmaceutical companies and other medical companies limit patients’ care and increase their financial burden,” stated the City Council in a letter to President Donald Trump, California senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
The first review of the Medicare for All Act, to be made by the Senate Committee on Finance, has not yet been scheduled.