Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal & Debbie Dingell on Healthcare

Americans pay more for worse healthcare outcomes than anywhere in the western world. One bold new plan to fix this is ‘Medicare For All,’ which has become a rallying cry for many Democrats – including most presidential contenders in the party. ‘Medicare For All’ was recently introduced in the House by lead co-sponsors Jayapal and Dingell, who joined Christiane from DC to discuss their proposal.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Well, this is such an important issue and on the theme that we’re busy exploring of big, big topics and big reforms, you’re Medicare- for-all pretty much ticks that box. Just explain to us, both of you, what exactly are you proposing. I mean, Medicare already exists and Obamacare exists.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D), WASHINGTON: Yes. So, what we are proposing, and I’m just so thrilled to have such a long-term champion co-leading this effort with me and 105 of our colleagues in the House that are original co-sponsors, we propose that health care should be available for everybody, no co-pays, no deductibles, no premiums, you can go see the doctor or the hospital of your choice, in fact, more choice than is available now. And the only thing that really change is we pay for it through a government insurance program. And we cut out the waste and we contain the costs. So, for the first time, you’ll be able to get vision, dental, mental health, substance abuse and long-term supports and services.

AMANPOUR: You make it sound very attractive and very doable and you talk about 105, you know, supporters and co-sponsors, I wonder whether any of those are Republicans. But what happens when they start saying, “Well, hang on, that’s all well and good, but this is going to cost the nation an arm and a leg, so to speak. It’s just going to be too expensive.”

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL, (D), MICHIGAN: So, let’s start with the fact. I believe that every person has got a right to quality affordable health care. And right now, we’ve got a very broken fragmented system that doesn’t work. And the bulk of the — we’re the most expensive of any country in the world, we are the most expensive country in terms of delivering health care to Americans. And so, what we do is we save money as — we’re also the only industrialized nation in the world. This is an economic issue as well is an issue that nobody should have to worry about whether they can afford to go to a doctor because we’re competing in a global marketplace. Yet, every other industrialized nation that we’re competing with — my background was auto industry at one point, is competing against countries where the cost of health care isn’t passed on to the private employer. So — but by going to a single payer system, we’re going to eliminate a lot of waste and we’re going to let doctors — we’re going to get rid of bureaucracy, we’re going to get rid of paper, we’re going to let doctors and nurses go back to taking care of the patients and we will save a significant amount of money just in streamlining and making the process more efficient.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal & Debbie Dingell about ‘Medicare For All;’ and actress Lena Heady about her work with refugees. Walter Isaacson speaks with Drew Faust, the first ever female president of Harvard, who helped steer the university through a time of change.