Sanders Medicare for All Town Hall Tonight

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) will partner with NowThis, The Young Turks and ATTN: on a Medicare for All national town hall tonight at 7 pm in the Capitol Visitors’ Center congressional auditorium.

The event will be streamed live on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The event is open to the press and public.

“It is great to see Senator Sanders exposing the problems with the current healthcare system and championing Medicare for All,” said Dr. Margaret Flowers of Health Over Profit. “At the same time, it is disappointing that he is not supporting HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act, which has been gold standard of the single payer movement for more than a decade. If he had embraced HR 676, it would have united the single payer movement and made it possible to have strong legislation in both bodies of Congress.”

“My hope is that there will be an honest critique of the Sanders legislation, including its significant weaknesses such as allowing for-profit entities to continue to operate without budgetary controls, leaving out long term care, keeping the dysfunctional payment schemes of the Affordable Care Act and an unnecessarily long and complicated implementation process. Sanders made compromises to appease his fellow Democrats in the Senate. The public needs to be aware of these failings and demand a better bill.”

On the health care crisis, Sanders tonight will have on hand Stan Brock, founder of Remote Area Medical.

Under Brock’s leadership, Remote Area Medical has become the largest nongovernmental provider of free mobile medical clinics in the U.S. and has provided free medical care to nearly one million people

Also joining Sanders will be Dr. Claudia Fegan is chief medical officer for the Cook County Health and Hospital System and John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Dr. Fegan is also president of the Chicago-based Health and Medicine Policy Research Group and national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Joining Dr. Fegan and Brock will be Deborah Wachtel is a nurse practitioner providing primary care since 1986. She currently practices at the University of Vermont College of Nursing faculty practice, Appletree Bay Primary Care. Wachtel is an assistant professor at the University of Vermont College of Nursing.

Sanders will also have a segment on the economic and business impact of Medicare for All, featuring Richard Master, the founder and CEO of MCS Industries Inc., a $200 million a year company.

Master is the Executive Producer of two documentaries “Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point” and “Big Pharma: Market Failure.”

In 2017, he formed the Business Initiative for Health Policy, an effort backed by business leaders and economists, to educate the public and elected officials on the economic case for Medicare for all.

Also on hand for the business segment will be Jen Kimmich, who co-founded The Alchemist brewery in 2003. As general manager of their brewery and distribution companies, Kimmich oversees financial planning, operations, marketing and distribution logistics.

Dr. Don Berwick will also be on the program. Dr. Berwick is president emeritus and senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and is the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick serves as Lecturer in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.

In a segment titled “learning from the world,” Sanders has invited Dr. Danyaal Raza, chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, a physician organization focused on evidence-based, values-driven reform of Canada’s health care system. He is a staff physician with the Department of Family & Community Medicine of St. Michael’s Hospital, is physician-lead of St. Michael’s Sumac Creek Health Centre and an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto.

Joining Dr. Raza will be Meetali Kakad is a public health physician and researcher in Oslo, Norway who has worked at the global, national, regional and county levels, including the Norwegian Health Service, the National Health Service in the UK and the World Health Organization. She’s served on the third Norwegian Commission on Priority-Setting, convened by the Minister of Health to review criteria and mechanisms for prioritization within the Norwegian health system. Last year Kakad was the Norwegian Harkness Fellow in health care policy and practice, based at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School.

Joining Dr. Raza and Dr. Kadad will be Jill Tipton, who brings the perspective of someone who has experienced receiving health care in a universal health care system and the current U.S. system. She grew up in Wisconsin and attended Northwestern University. After college she moved to France, where she lived for four years from age 22 to 26. She worked in nonprofits in India and France before relocating to Washington, DC, in November 2017.