At least eight New Mexico organizations have joined with like-minded groups nationwide to raise awareness of and support for Medicare for All. Rallies are being organized in at least 52 communities across the country and in Albuquerque. The local rally is from 9 to 11 a.m. this Saturday, July 24 in front of UNM Hospital on Lomas.
Sponsoring organizations for the rally include the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County (DPBC), the Progressive Democrats of Central New Mexico (PDA-NM), Indivisible Nob Hill, OLÉ, NM WFP, Santa Fe DSA, District 1199NM, and the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights. More organizations are expected to announce support by the time of the rally on Saturday morning. At the rally, State Representative Liz Thomson will speak, the Raging Grannies will sing, and supporters will offer their personal stories on the importance of the national legislation. For more information on the event, email MC4ALLNM@gmail.com. For more information on the nationwide movement, visit www.m4m4all.org.
As introduced in 2021 by Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Debbie Dingell of Michigan, the Medicaid for All Act of 2021 would guarantee health care to everyone in America as a human right. The bill would immediately lower the age of the eligibility for Medicare to 50 and expand benefits from Medicare dollars to include vision, dental, and hearing aid coverage. The bill is designed to provide comprehensive benefits to all with no co-pays, private insurance premiums, deductibles, or other cost-sharing. According to Rep. Jayapal, the bill has been endorsed by 300 local, state, and national organizations and co-sponsored by more than half of the House Democratic Caucus, including 14 committee chairs and key leadership members.
According to our local organizers, N.M. Democratic Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez signed onto the House legislation immediately, Democratic Rep. Melanie Stansbury, who joined the delegation only recently, is not yet listed as a co-sponsor. Sen. Bernie Sanders has not introduced his version of the Medicare for All bill in the senate, where Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall supported an earlier version. As yet, supporters are uncertain whether Sen. Ben Ray Lujan will sign on, although he has signaled his willingness to do so.
Local organizers encourage those who support Medicare for All to show up Saturday morning–and bring family and friends, signs, and loud voices.
Anyone who wants to help in the effort but who cannot attend is encouraged to contact New Mexico‘s Democratic legislators to convey the message that New Mexicans, like 70% of people polled nationwide, support Medicare for All to cover more people and provide better health benefits—immediately.