Washington Congresswoman Says Republicans “Are Literally Willing to Let People Die”


Speaking to VICE, Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal (D) lambasted members of the Republican Party, saying “[they’re] basically doing everything possible to strip health care away” even in the middle of global pandemic.

“That’s why [Democrats] have to have alternatives to that and really show the contrast between Republican [politicians]—whether it’s governors or members of Congress or the Trump administration—who are literally willing to let people die,” she said.

“That is what is so clear to me. [We’re] opening up too quickly and sending people back to work when we don’t have testing, contact tracing, isolation, all the things that the public health people, the scientists, the researchers, the doctors have told us…and yet we’re saying, ‘well, you know, too bad, people are just going to go have to go back to work,’” she continued. “Most people who are smart will say, “Uh, I don’t think I’m going back until it’s a little bit safer.” But the people who really don’t have the economic means or don’t have flexible employers are the ones that are going to end up going back and potentially comprising an even larger percentage of people who get the virus.”

Pointing out that there are myriad ways to protect health care, Jayapal shone a spotlight on a proposal pushed by her and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “to basically cover all the costs of health care during the crisis through Medicare.” She also praised her colleague, Representative Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), who along with Jayapal crafted the Medicare Crisis Program, which would “expand the number of people that are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid—so if you’re unemployed, you would be covered by Medicare, if you’re uninsured, you would be covered by Medicaid.”

And then there’s her Paycheck Guarantee Act, “which would guarantee paychecks and benefits, which would include health care and, in that bill, we would at least keep people on their employer-covered health care for now. ”

“Obviously I’m a Medicare for All person, but I think this is not the time to be kicking people off their health care [from job loss],” Jayapal added.

According to a new Kaiser Family Foundation report, nearly 27 million Americans could lose their health insurance as a result of spiking unemployment numbers.

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