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Ady Barkan, Activist Dying of ALS, Testifies to Congress in Favor of Medicare for All

HeadlineMay 01, 2019

On Capitol Hill, a 35-year-old lawyer and activist who’s dying of terminal ALS testified Tuesday at an historic, first-of-its-kind congressional hearing on Medicare for all. Ady Barkan spoke to the House Rules Committee using a computerized system that tracks his eye movements and turns them into spoken words. In his emotional testimony, Barkan described how, even with a comparatively good health insurance plan, he still pays about $9,000 a month for medical care.

Ady Barkan: “All of us need medical care. And yet, in this country, the wealthiest in the history of human civilization, we do not have an effective or fair or rational system for delivering that care. I will not belabor the point, because you and your constituents are well aware of the problems: high costs, bad outcomes, mind-boggling bureaucracy, racial disparities, bankruptcies, geographic inequities and obscene profiteering. The ugly truth is this: Healthcare is not treated as a human right in the United States of America. This fact is outrageous, and it is far past time that we change it. Saying it loud for the people in the back: Healthcare is a human right.”

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