Rep. Nancy Pelosi is running for her fourth term as Speaker of the House. The election is in the first week of January and this time, because Democrats lost seats in the House and were left with a slim majority, she needs votes from congressional progressives to get re-elected.
Pelosi is refusing to bring Medicare for all to the floor of the House for a vote in the middle of a pandemic that has killed 300,000 Americans.
Voters sent progressives to Congress to fight for Medicare for all and this is their fleeting moment of leverage. Establishment Democrats make demands of Pelosi for their votes and so should progressives. Wall Street makes demands of Pelosi for their support and so should progressives.
This is the worst health crisis in a century and millions have lost their employer-based coverage. Seventy-two percent of Americans want Medicare for all and every other major country on Earth guarantees health care to all people as a right.
Democrats ran under the banner of “healthcare is a human right,” but it’s easy to campaign on or sponsor legislation that will never come up for a vote. A vote on Medicare for all will prompt a national conversation on guaranteeing health care in the middle of a pandemic. It will show the country who really supports it, not just rhetorically, but in practice. Then we can hold our representatives accountable.
Political comedian Jimmy Dore launched the initiative and NFL Chargers running back Justin Jackson kicked off a public discussion with AOC about it on Twitter. Many other movement figures have expressed support for the idea including Aaron Maté, Briahna Joy Gray, Caitlin Johnstone, Dr. Cornel West, Graham Elwood, Katie Halper, Krystal Ball, Kyle Kulinski, Marianne Williamson, Max Blumenthal, Nick Brana, Niko House, Ron Placone, Ryan Knight, Stef Zamorano, and Susan Sarandon.
We put the Squad and House progressives in office to stand up to Nancy Pelosi, establishment Democrats, and the insurance corporations that fund them. This is a rare moment where Pelosi needs something from progressives. It could be years before we have another chance and millions of people do not have that long.
This country needs Medicare for all now. A floor vote is the absolute least we must demand. We want a vote on the last full week of January, after Biden is inaugurated. The progressive movement has shown huge support for this campaign and we want to know: Will you stand up to Democratic Party leadership when we need it the most?
Petitioning every member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and every Democrat who ran on Medicare for all, including:
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
- Rep. Ayanna Pressley
- Rep. Barbara Lee
- Rep. Chuy Garcia
- Rep. Cori Bush
- Rep. Ilhan Omar
- Rep. Jamaal Bowman
- Rep. Jamie Raskin
- Rep. Katie Porter
- Rep. Marie Newman
- Rep. Mark Pocan
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal
- Rep. Rashida Tlaib
- Rep. Raúl Grijalva
- Rep. Ro Khanna