Larimer County passes Resolution for Improved Medicare for All

Activists from the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care, Larimer County League of Women Voters, and Democratic Socialists of America celebrate with Larimer County Commissioners their passing a resolution for Improved Medicare for All.

Every one of the almost 363,000 people who live in Larimer County should have access to comprehensive, quality health care including vision, hearing, dental, and mental health services according to a Resolution of the Larimer County Board of Commissioners Supporting Improved Medicare for All as the State or National Health System passed Tuesday. On May 23 Larimer County became the 120th local governing body to urge US legislators to ensure all people have access health care without barriers.

Similar measures have passed in Longmont, Boulder County, Denver, Fort Collins, Tucson, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Knoxville, Milwaukie, Philadelphia, and Kalamazoo. Efforts in more than 300 cities are underway. In Colorado, those requests extend to Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado legislators to pass a state-based universal health care plan for Colorado.

The commissioners cited the fact that people of all income levels contribute to the economy and need access to health care to be able to do so; that Covid-19 temporary emergency measures end May 31; that access to health care helps people afford housing; and that Larimer County small businesses will be more able to attract and retain employees when everyone can access care among key reasons for passing the resolution.

“Health care is something I believe is a human right, and when folks don’t have access, it becomes everyone’s issue,” said Larimer County Commissioner Jody Shadduck-McNally. When people are un-or underinsured and can’t seek preventative care, they wind up in the emergency room, a place meant to treat emergencies, not as a catch-all because people can’t afford their doctor. Like recent measures from the cities of Denver and Longmont, Larimer County’s resolution for improved Medicare for All includes vision, dental, hearing, and behavioral health services.

“A young family member took their life right after the 2013 floods in Larimer County. Their family is still devastated. Those actions ripple on for decades. I have friends whose children struggle with suicidal ideation. We need to have that parity: mental health is part of health care,” said Commissioner Shadduck-McNally.  

“People can enjoy a higher quality of life when they’re not having to deal with illnesses or disease. We are trying to build more resilient communities—to have our population be strong and healthy and resilient,” she said.

The resolution urges Larimer County’s citizens to get active urging elected officials to co-sponsor and vote for universal health care. Last week, Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Bernie Sanders re-introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2023 into the US House and Senate respectively. Activists from the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care,  the Larimer County League of Women Voters, and Democratic Socialists of America urged the commissioners to pass the resolution. 

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