WASHINGTON, DC — Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) announced today that author and advocate Ady Barkan will testify at the House Rules Committee’s hearing on the Medicare for All Act of 2019 on Tuesday, April 30th at 10am ET in in H-313, The Capitol. Barkan, an organizer with the Center for Popular Democracy and founder of the Be A Hero Organization, was diagnosed with ALS in 2016 and is a strong supporter of Medicare for All. Owing to the advanced progression of ALS, Barkan will deliver his testimony using a computer system that tracks his eye movements and subsequently converts text into speech.
“Ady Barkan has been fighting for many of the principles this Majority believes in for a long time, including the notion that health care is a right and not a privilege. His extraordinary advocacy since his diagnosis has been an inspiration to so many Americans. At the same time, his story represents what millions of Americans face every day in this country when diagnosed with an unexpected and life-changing illness. I’m proud that Ady will add his powerful perspective to our hearing, and I’m grateful to Speaker Pelosi for relaying his enthusiastic willingness to be a part of it,” said Chairman McGovern.
“For 100 years, visionary patients, nurses, doctors and organizers have fought to ensure that everyone in America gets the health care they need,” said Ady Barkan. “But time and again, our movement has been stymied by the corporations and people who make money off of our illnesses. On Tuesday, for the first time ever, Medicare For All will get a hearing in the United States Congress. I congratulate and thank Rep. Jayapal, Rep. Dingell, former Rep. Conyers, and Sen. Sanders for their decades of leadership on this historic day.”
“I am grateful to Chairman McGovern and Speaker Pelosi for making this hearing possible and inviting me to testify. Tuesday will be just the latest example of why I worked so hard to help Democrats win back the House in November. The American people have heard the message loud and clear: Republicans are bad for your health. Progressives have a plan to fix the American healthcare system once and for all. It will take immense effort and teamwork for me to attend this hearing, but that is what is required -- from me and thousands of other healthcare heroes -- to deliver us the change that the American people deserve,” continued Barkan.
This hearing will mark the first time Congress has ever held a hearing on Medicare for All. More than 100 members have already cosponsored the Medicare for All Act of 2019, which would improve and expand the overwhelmingly successful and popular Medicare program so that every person living in the United States has guaranteed access to healthcare with comprehensive benefits.
Barkan will be joined at the hearing by Majority witnesses Dr. Dean Baker, Senior Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research; Dr. Sara Collins, Vice President for Health Care Coverage and Access, The Commonwealth Fund; Dr. Doris Browne, Immediate Past-President, National Medical Association; and Dr. Farzon Nahvi, Emergency Room Physician; as well as minority witnesses Ms. Grace Marie-Turner, President, Galen Institute; and Dr. Charles Blahous, J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Chair and Senior Research Strategist, Mercatus Center. The hearing will be held in H-313, The Capitol, and streamed online at Rules.House.Gov.