…to become an original cosponsor of the State-Based Universal Health Care Act
117th Original Cosponsors: Blumenauer, DeFazio, Holmes Norton, Jayapal, Lee, Levin, Neguse, Omar, Pingree, Pocan, Raskin, Smith (WA), Tlaib
116th Cosponsors: Jayapal, Smith, Blumenauer, DeFazio, Bonamici, Pocan, Lee (CA), Watson Coleman, Omar, Garcia (IL), Pressley, Raskin, Schakowsky, Ocasio-Cortez, Grijalva, Huffman, Neguse, Levin, Pingree, McGovern, Doyle, Napolitano
Endorsed by: National Nurses United, Public Citizen, National Union of Healthcare Workers, One Payer States, Labor Campaign for Single Payer, Healthy California Now!, Social Security Works + 110 more
As we work towards universal health coverage on a national scale, we should also support state initiatives to expand health coverage to all residents. In fact, throughout our nation’s history, our states have served as the incubators of democratic ideas. Our neighbors in Canada actually established their own successful national health program by allowing the province of Saskatchewan to lead with a universal hospital care program in 1947, a decade before the plan took hold nationwide.
That is why I am reintroducing the State-Based Universal Health Care Act to create a waiver to allow states to develop their own plans to provide access to health care for all their residents. This bill provides states with access to federal funding streams and regulatory flexibility to support affordable, universal health care plans.
The State-Based Universal Health Care Act requires participating states or groups of states to propose plans to provide health care coverage for 95 percent of their residents within five years. After five years, participating states would be required to demonstrate they reached these targets and provide a plan to cover the remaining five percent of their population. States that do not reach the 95 percent target after five years would have to revise their plan to achieve the targets, or risk losing their waiver. Federal technical assistance would be made available for states seeking help in developing these plans.
The State-Based Universal Health Care Act also requires benefits provided under state plans be equal to or greater than what federal beneficiaries receive now. An independent panel of health care experts and officials would evaluate whether a state’s proposal meets the requirements and would then provide a public recommendation of waiver application approval or rejection to the Secretary of HHS.
The regulatory flexibility provided and funding streams combined include: (1) the requirements for the establishment, creation, and maintenance of health benefit exchanges; (2) cost-sharing reductions under the ACA; (3) premium tax credit and employer mandate under the ACA; (4) Medicare; (5) Medicaid; (6) CHIP; (7) FEHBP; (8) TRICARE; and (9) ERISA pre-emption provision.
States are in a unique position to innovate and lead in the push for universal health care. Let’s give them the tools they need to succeed.
Deadline to join as an original cosponsor is COB Thursday, May 13th. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and to sign on.