Doctors welcome Rep. Keith Ellison as new lead sponsor of Medicare for all bill

Unlike incremental reforms, single-payer plan is the only way to achieve both universal coverage and cost control

Contact: Clare Fauke, communications specialist, 312-782-6006,

Physicians for a National health Program (PNHP), the leading national physicians group advocating for single payer health care reform, welcomed Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) as the new lead sponsor of H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. That single-payer bill was modeled after a proposal originally crafted by PNHP that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It would improve Medicare’s benefits to include all medically necessary care, eliminate copayments and deductibles, and expand Medicare to cover everyone living in the U.S.

Universal health coverage has seen a surge in public support; a recent poll showed 92 percent of U.S. adults (including 82 percent of Republicans) believe that all Americans should have the right to affordable health care. H.R. 676 now has a record 121 co-sponsors, representing 63 percent of all House Democrats. PNHP, a nonprofit research and education organization with more than 22,000 members, notes that H.R. 676 would be far preferable to incremental reforms that would offer less comprehensive coverage at higher costs. Single payer would save an estimated $617 billion annually by slashing the administrative waste of private insurance and the paperwork insurers impose on hospitals and doctors ($504 billion), and bargaining down drug prices ($113 billion). That would free up enough money for universal, first-dollar coverage without any net increase in U.S. health spending.

“Everyone from Jeff Bezos to Paul Ryan is pushing ideas for how to reinvent health care,” said Dr. Carol Paris, a Nashville-based psychiatrist and president of PNHP. “Lots of groups claim they have a plan that can get to ‘universal coverage,’ but only a single-payer bill like H.R. 676 can get the cost savings that make universal coverage both feasible and sustainable. We welcome Rep. Ellison as the new lead sponsor of H.R. 676 and will work with him to win even more support for Medicare for all.”

Physicians for a National Health Program ( is a nonprofit research and education organization whose more than 22,000 members support single-payer national health insurance.