WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he will sign on as an original cosponsor to Senator Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All legislation, which would ensure every American would have access to comprehensive health insurance regardless of income or employment status. Udall supported similar proposals sponsored by Rep. John Conyers when he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003, 2005, and 2007. Udall made the following statement:
"I believe that health care is a human right, and that all New Mexicans – and all Americans – should be able to see a doctor when they're sick. A hardworking single mother in New Mexico deserves the same quality health care for herself and her family as a multimillionaire CEO. But while we've made strong steps in the right direction, our health insurance system is expensive, fragmented and hopelessly complicated for patients and employers alike.
"We must keep striving for a seamless system in which patient care, not profits, comes first; where employers can focus on production not paperwork; and where every American has the assurance that no matter what happens with their job or their health, they can still get quality care."
Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, worked with Sanders on provisions in the bill related to Indian health. Those provisions ensure that the Indian Health Service (IHS) may serve as a participating provider, that the IHS may continue to focus solely on providing health care for Tribal communities, and that there should be strong consultation between the federal government and Tribes.