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WHO WILL PAY FOR IT? Jersey City Council Unanimously Approves Medicare for All Resolution  

JERSEY CITY TAKES STEP TOWARDS HEALTH JUSTICE! 

 Jersey City, N.J. – Last weed, the Jersey City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of a nationwide Medicare for All program. With the effects of the pandemic still being felt across the Garden State, this resolution by New Jersey’s second-most populous city sends a strong message to New Jersey’s congressional delegation that guaranteed health care is needed now more than ever.

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 In 2019, 27,500 Jersey City residents didn’t have any health insurance at all, and thousands more were underinsured, meaning that the out-of-pocket costs with their insurance were so high that they were unable to access care. That number has certainly increased during the pandemic as people lost employer-based coverage due to layoffs in the economic slowdown. As New Jersey faced the third-highest number of COVID deaths as a proportion of its population (347 per 100,000), cities across the state are concerned that the lack of comprehensive health coverage threatens to put the health of every New Jersey resident at risk as new variants continue to spread.  It’s time to end for-profit health care in favor of a universal system without copays or out-of-pocket costs. 

The resolution was introduced by Councilmember James Solomon of Ward E and Councilman-at-Large Rolando Lavarro, and was sponsored by Council President Joyce Watterman, Councilman-at-Large Daniel Rivera, and Ward Councilpeople Mira Prinz-Arez and Yousef Saleh. 

“Low income and minorities make up a disproportionate number of uninsured Americans,” said Councilman Rolando Lavarro. “They are also among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, and we’ve seen the ramifications of being an uninsured low-income minority in a global pandemic - disproportionate COVID infections and deaths. Universal healthcare will not only address these disparities but will keep our most vulnerable alive. Now more than ever we need universal healthcare.”

“America should join every major country in the world in creating a universal right to healthcare. No American should have to fear bankruptcy or remain in a terrible job just to see a doctor. I am glad Jersey City added its voice today to those demanding common-sense change” said Councilmember James Solomon of Ward E.

“Healthcare justice is on the march, and today Jersey City took one more step in that direction,” said Anna Marta Visky, Northeast Regional Organizer with Our Revolution. “The current for-profit insurance-based system has failed us. In Jersey City, we have seen teachers striking due to rising healthcare costs. We have seen low-wage workers get fired from their jobs at the height of the pandemic because they spoke up to demand health benefits. It’s past time that the entire New Jersey congressional delegation heard the demands of their constituents by supporting a guaranteed, national healthcare system that decouples healthcare from employment and provides medical care for everyone. The people of Jersey City, our state, and the country deserve nothing less.”

“As city governments across the state have been on the front-lines in responding to the tragedy of the COVID pandemic, New Jersey municipal officials are leading the way across the country in demanding federal action to guarantee health care for all,” said Melinda St. Louis, director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All campaign that has supported dozens of similar efforts around the country. “We call on NJ-8 Representative Albio Sires to respond to the will of their constituents and cosponsor the Medicare for All Act of 2021.”

Jersey City is the latest city to join more than 80 cities and municipalities across the country, including 13 New Jersey localities like Hoboken, Trenton, Dover, West Orange, and Highland Park, that want to ensure people have the health care they need. 

The New Jersey effort is being organized by Our Revolution NJ and Public Citizen.

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Our Revolution is dedicated to organizing a political revolution strong enough to challenge the structural forces that threaten our survival as a society. Together, we are building a national grassroots network of powerful local groups who are fighting to win progressive issue fights, elect progressive champions, transform the Democratic party and get big money out of politics.

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