Colorado groups unite to pass Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act

A group of people help each other climb a mountain.

Contact: Sara Wright, Communications Director, Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care
SWright@couniversalhealth.org; 720-818-2856

DENVER — A growing coalition of Colorado groups has united to Push to Pass the federal Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act to give every American access to health care during the pandemic. The group held a campaign kick-off event at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30 on Zoom. Check out the event video.

The bill, H.R. 6906 in the House and S. 3790 in the Senate, would pay “all of the costs of treatment for the uninsured, and all of the out-of-pocket costs for those with public or private insurance, for as long as this pandemic continues.”

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal in the House and Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Senate.

It would prevent all Americans from going into poverty or medical debt because of hefty medical bills during the pandemic.

“It’s especially important now because due to COVID people have lost their jobs and their health care. In the middle of a pandemic, it’s not healthy to have people walking around who can’t afford to get checked out,” said Cathy Blake of Arvadans for Progressive Action.

“We’re all in this together. The pandemic has made it even more urgent that everyone have universal access to care.”

Lydia Guzman, President of Health Care for All Colorado, sees the way the Black community, Latino community, seniors, and the Native American community are being hit hardest in high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths and says the time to act is now.

“The Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act would bring so much relief to people who really need it right now in the middle of this huge emergency our nation is facing,” Guzman said. “Our hope at Health Care for All Colorado is that by coming together as a coalition that we bring focus, and unity, and power to pass this bill. And it can’t happen fast enough.”

The HCEGA would cost less than the health care plan embedded in the Heroes Act, which would only help cover Cobra premiums for those who’ve lost their health care due to a COVID-related layoff recently. That’s a fraction of those who need help affording health care right now. Check out this comparison chart of pandemic health care proposals.

“I think the Act is crucial because it’s one of the most direct and immediate kinds of COVID-19 relief on the table. We don’t need another bailout for big business that never reaches regular folks,” said Chris Diehn, a regional organizer with Democratic Socialists of America’s Medicare for All Campaign. “That money is much better spent on working families and on enabling us to endure this fall surge by keeping people healthy.”

Colorado groups backing the legislation include Arvadans for Progressive Action, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, Health Care for All Colorado, Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care, Health Care for All, Democratic Socialists of America Denver, Democratic Socialists of America Fort Collins, Physicians for a National Health Program’s Colorado Chapter, and Cooperate Colorado.

Contacts:

Richard Bieser, MD, Physicians for a National Health Program Colorado
Bieser@Comcast.net              303-818-1999

Lydia Guzman, Health Care for All Colorado
lydia-guzman@comcast.net   720-480-0739

Cathy Blake, Arvadans for Progressive Action
cathy.m.blake@gmail.com     303-464-9803

Chris Diehn, Democratic Socialists of America
Diehn.Chris@gmail.com         720-460-9401

Bill Semple, Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care
Bluehouse1800@yahoo.com 303-449-1669

Madi Jacobs, MD, Health Care for All
drdharmamadikf@gmail.com    719-371-0279

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