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Interview With NNU’s Michael Lighty: Solving The Healthcare Crisis With Medicare For All

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For this week’s “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by Michael Lighty, policy director for National Nurses United. He has worked on health care reform for over 25 years.

Lighty addresses the need for Democrats to go on the offensive and push for a national Medicare For All system. He describes why the Affordable Care Act is flawed and not enough for citizens. He highlights a push in the state of California for a Medicare For All system.

“If we’re going to solve the healthcare crisis, we’ve got to do so with the most popular and most cost-effective program, which is Medicare and applying that to everyone,” Lighty declares.

He adds, “Essentially, the Affordable Care Act represents a conservative reform of commercial private insurance, which has left many gaps. Then, of course, you come in there with the Republican alternative, and it’s even worse. That leaves the field open for the actual solution, which is Medicare For All. So, we find this to be a very uplifting moment in terms of possibility for this kind of reform.”

When asked about the fact that 81 percent of Democrats polled support Medicare For All, Lighty contends, “I challenge anyone to find an issue where 81 percent of the Republicans demand it, and the Republican Party doesn’t prioritize it. It’s unconscionable that Democrats don’t make Medicare For All the demand.”

Although the Republicans failed to advance their health bill, the Democrats failed too because they did not seize the moment and go on offense.

Later in the interview, Lighty speaks about the Trump administration’s agenda of dismantling environmental regulations designed to protect the public’s health. He also previews People’s Summit 2.0 in Chicago, which was announced this past week and will take place from June 9-11.

To listen to the interview, click the above player or go here.

Both Khalek and Gosztola also posted a separate discussion on free speech on university and college campuses and Trump’s expansion of war in Somalia, which can be found here.

Protestors demand Medicare for all in Bakersfield, California. Photo by ufcw770 on Flickr.
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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."