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McCollum Introduces Constitutional Amendment Guaranteeing Health Care for All Americans

January 9, 2019
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL, MN-04) has introduced an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to make health care a right for all Americans. The Health Care for All Amendment (H.J. Res. 17) states:

“Health care, including care to prevent and treat illness, is the right of the people and necessary to ensure the strength of the Nation. The Congress shall have power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.”

Congresswoman McCollum released the following statement:

“At a time when the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans are actively and intentionally sabotaging our health care system, and pharmaceutical companies are gouging consumers to extract huge profits, ensuring the right to access quality health care must be established as a fundamental right for all Americans.

“Strengthening the Affordable Care Act, expanding federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, protecting women’s reproductive rights, and working to build a system of universal health coverage are some of the steps Congress must take to ensure that the American people have the assurance and stability they deserve when it comes to receiving health care.

“Today, health care continues to be treated as a commodity driven by profit, but it should not be restricted or rationed according to one’s ability to pay, and it most certainly cannot be a system based on survival of the fittest. The leading cause of bankruptcy in America is medical debt. Skyrocketing prescription drug costs, legal threats to the ACA, and rising premiums are only making this problem worse.

“Simply put, receiving life-saving medical treatment should not drive a person into poverty. I strongly believe health care is a fundamental right that must be enshrined into the U.S. Constitution.”

A constitutional amendment requires two-thirds passage by the House and the Senate and subsequent ratification by three-fourths of the States.

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