The House Rules Committee on Tuesday will hold the first-ever hearing on the Medicare for All universal healthcare proposal.
The hearing will start 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday and will weigh arguments for and against the sweeping healthcare legislation package introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., which proposes a single government insurance plan for all Americans.
"Healthcare is a human right and I'm proud the Rules Committee will be holding this hearing on the Medicare for All Act as this Majority discusses ways to strengthen our health care system for everyone," Jayapal said in a statement.
Jayapal first introduced the legislation in February, saying it would eliminate co-payments, premiums and deductibles for patients while also providing universal comprehensive coverage with controlled costs. She added that the average U.S. family would see nearly a 15 percent reduction in costs as well as "better and comprehensive care." Her plan would be available for all Americans within a two-year span, but the proposal doesn't specify the cost.
More than 100 members of Congress, including House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern, have co-sponsored the bill.
"It's a serious proposal that deserves serious consideration on Capitol Hill as we work toward universal coverage," McGovern said.
The plan has received support from multiple 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Sen. Bernie Sanders -- who introduced his own version of the legislation in the Senate -- and Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke.
Author and healthcare activist Ady Barkan, who is diagnosed with terminal ALS, will testify at the hearing -- to detail his experience with the current healthcare system. Barkan requires full-time home care that costs $9,000 per month, in addition to what his insurance covers.
"Progressives have a plan to fix the American healthcare system once and for all," he said, noting that he will travel from his home in California to testify at Tuesday's historic hearing.
"It will take immense effort and teamwork for me to attend this hearing, but that is what is required -- from me and thousands of other healthcare heroes --- to deliver us the change that the American people deserve."
Republicans also invited George Mason University senior researcher Charles Blahous and Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner, who have warned about the plan's potential cost, to testify Tuesday.
Blahous published a study for the university's Mercatus Center, which found Medicare for All would add approximately $32.6 trillion to the federal budget during its first 10 years. Turner, in an op-ed, warned about potential consequences of the coverage and taxes.
"Everyone would be required to give up the coverage they have now including 173 million Americans who get health insurance at work and taxes would be much higher to finance the $32 trillion in added government spending over the next decade," she wrote.
The list of witnesses also includes experts from the Commonwealth Fund, the Center on Economic and Policy Research and the National Medical Association.
The hearing will be livestreamed on the House Rules Committee website.