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Healthcare Activist Ady Barkan, Who Championed Medicare for All, Dies of ALS at 39

HeadlineNov 02, 2023

Healthcare activist Ady Barkan has died at the age of 39 of the neurodegenerative disease ALS. After his diagnosis in 2016, Ady Barkan dedicated his life to the fight for single-payer healthcare. He continued to speak out even after ALS left him physically unable to talk, communicating with a computerized system that translated his eye movements into spoken words. In 2019, Barkan used the device to deliver powerful opening remarks at the first-ever congressional hearing on Medicare for All. His story is told in the documentary “Not Going Quietly.” In 2021, Democracy Now! spoke with Ady Barkan just ahead of the film’s premiere.

Ady Barkan: “Only a truly radical departure from our exploitative, for-profit model to one that guarantees healthcare as a right for all will ensure that we no longer live in a nation where people go bankrupt on account of their medical bills. … A system that profits off of death and people forgoing medical care is a system that is beyond repair. We need Medicare for All now.”

Click here to see our full interview with Ady Barkan.

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