WATCH: ‘The Time To Pass Medicare For All Is Now,’ Dying Activist Tells Congress
Activist Ady Barkan testified to the House Rules Committee on Tuesday about the merits of “Medicare for All” healthcare proposals, relying on a synthetic speech machine due to the effects of the progressive neurological disease ALS.
Barkan, 35, drew on his family’s own experience fighting health insurance companies for full treatments and paying thousands of dollars in expenses out-of-pocket as reasons to support a government-run health care plan. “We are cobbling together the money, from friends and family and supporters all over the country,” he said. “But this is an absurd way to run a healthcare system. GoFundMe is a terrible substitute for smart Congressional action.”
Barkan argued that Medicare for All would deliver high-quality, more efficient and more affordable medical care. “Some people argue that although Medicare for All is a great idea, we need to move slowly to get there,” he said. “But I needed Medicare for All yesterday. Millions of people need it today. The time to pass this law is now.”
Barkan was given his diagnosis in 2016. He has since become noteworthy for his attempt to personally convince then-Sen. Jeff Flake to vote against Trump’s tax cut plan and their effects on Medicare and Medicaid, and his fundraising for an opponent to Sen. Susan Collins after she voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor for the Forward. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink