AP NEWS

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries lukewarm towards Medicare for All rollout

February 26, 2019

Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries offered a cool reception Tuesday towards Medicare For All just before his progressive colleagues are set to unveil their bill.

“I support the notion that we need to take a comprehensive look generally at how we can get to a place where we have universal access to high-quality healthcare for every single American,” the New York Democrat told reporters.

“That is the principle that unites the House Democratic caucus,” Mr. Jefferies added.

Medicare For All has garnered national attention over the past few years, and 2020 candidates such as Sen. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have embraced variations of the plan.

Reps. Pramilla Jayapal of Washington state and Debbie Dingell of Michigan, both high-ranking members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, are set to introduce their Medicare For All overhaul on Wednesday that would reform and expand the current Medicare system.

Mr. Jeffries, a member of the CPC himself, stressed that Democrats’ starting point for tackling healthcare reform should focus on using Medicare to lower the cost of drug prices and ensuring protections for people with preconditions.

“We want to strengthen the Affordable Care Act as a foundation,” he said.