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Advocates Celebrate as Hamden Legislative Council Passes Resolution in Favor of Medicare for All

HAMDEN, CT — On Monday, July 18, the Hamden Legislative Council approved a resolution in support of Medicare for All, following a years-long effort to build community support for the effort. The campaign was spearheaded by Medicare For All CT, a non-profit advocacy group, and received over 300 letters of support from Hamden residents.

Federal Medicare For All legislation, most recently introduced to Congress by Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Senate and Pramila Jayapal in the U.S. House of Representatives, would eliminate the private insurance industry and establish universal public health care coverage for every U.S. resident — without premiums, co-pays, or other out-of-pocket costs. In 2020, a Yale-led study in The Lancet found that such a system would save $450 billion and over 68,000 lives in the U.S. each year.

Citing the burden of health care costs on working people in Hamden and across the United States, as well as the high cost of employee health care benefits in the town budget, the resolution declares “[enthusiastic] support [for] Medicare For All… and calls on our federal legislators to work toward its immediate enactment.”

“It's obvious that healthcare in this country is in crisis, with quality care often inaccessible and unaffordable to large swaths of the population due to the inability or unwillingness of private providers to put patients' well being ahead of profits,” said council member Ted Stevens, who introduced the resolution. “The system is broken, and the only feasible solution is to create a Medicare for All system that makes healthcare a basic human right that supports the health and medical needs of all people.

“This resolution is by no means sufficient for achieving this goal, but I hope that it can send a message to our Congressional representation that the people of Hamden want them to pursue this policy and work with their Congressional colleagues to move Medicare for All legislation forward.”

Stevens added, “I hope more communities pass similar resolutions in the coming months to strengthen the message we are sending to Washington.”

“I couldn’t be happier to see this resolution finally pass,” said Peter Cunningham, a Medicare For All CT board member and Hamden resident. “I’ve spoken to countless members of the community in the past two years, and support for a truly universal health care system is overwhelming. This resolution makes a small but meaningful step toward making that a reality. I offer my sincere thanks to all the members of the Hamden Legislative Council who helped pass this effort.”

Medicare for All CT has now contributed to the passing of resolutions in support of Medicare for All in five different Connecticut cities, including Hamden, Stamford, New Haven, New London, and Windham.

Read the full text of the resolution below:

Resolution of the Legislative Council: Medicare For All

WHEREAS, every person in Hamden deserves high quality health care; and

WHEREAS, even in the wake of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the mobilization of healthcare resources during the pandemic access to healthcare remains a challenge to the thirty million Americans without health insurance and the forty million of our fellow citizens who remain underinsured; and,

WHEREAS, on the municipal level, employee health insurance costs represent a significant portion of Hamden’s municipal budget and a growing burden to taxpayers; and,

WHEREAS, many people delay seeking needed health care due to an inability to pay, leading to a sicker and poorer population in the long run; and,

WHEREAS, United States Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell have introduced a bill to establish an improved Medicare for All national health insurance program (“Medicare for All Act”) in the House of Representatives and United States Senator Bernie Sanders has sponsored a bill to establish a national health insurance program that is administered by HHS (“Medicare for All Act of 2022”) (both called “Medicare for All”); and,

WHEREAS, Medicare for All would provide federally-funded health insurance for every person in the United States for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs; hospital, surgical and outpatient services; primary and preventive care; emergency services; reproductive care; dental and vision care; and long-term care; and,

WHEREAS, Medicare for All would provide coverage without copays, deductibles or other out-of-pocket costs to Hamden residents and municipal employees, without premium costs for the town government or other local employers; and,

WHEREAS, Medicare for All would provide the same benefits to retired Hamden employees, with savings in other post-employment benefits (OPEB) for the municipal budget; and,

WHEREAS, recent Kaiser Family Foundation polling shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans support a greater role for the federal government in providing health insurance and 56% of Americans support a national Medicare for All plan; and,

WHEREAS, the quality of life for the residents of Hamden would vastly improve under Medicare for All because they would be able to obtain necessary ongoing and preventive care without concern for medical debt or other financial strain; and,

WHEREAS, savings to the municipal budget under Medicare for All would free up funds for both much-needed tax relief for Hamden residents and businesses and further investment in town-provided infrastructure and services; and,

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 crisis and its lingering impact in Hamden and in other communities in Connecticut and throughout the United States has demonstrated and underscored the need for a universal healthcare system in our nation.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Hamden Legislative Council enthusiastically supports Medicare for All (as recently sponsored by the U.S. Representative Jayapal and U.S. Senator Sanders-sponsored HR. 1976 and S. 4204) and any other single-payer legislation, and calls on our federal legislators to work toward its immediate enactment, assuring appropriate and efficient health care for all residents of the United States.

Adopted by the Legislative Council at its meeting held on July 18, 2022.

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