Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia (Hayley Munguia/SCNG)

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia (Hayley Munguia/SCNG)

Mayor Robert Garcia said Thursday, Sept. 10, he and the mayor of Oakland have created an organization to promote Medicare for All in the country as a whole.

The announcement was in the form of a press release out of Garcia's office. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff is partnering with Garcia to create Mayors for Medicare for All (Mayors 4 Medicare).

One of the group's goals, according to the release, is to have a resolution of support in front of the U.S. Conference of Mayors to be adopted as a policy position of that group. The aim is to sign up more than 100 mayors by the end of the year.

“Health care is a human right,” Garcia said in the release. “I’ve been supporting a single payer system in our state for many years because of the millions of people uninsured or underinsured. It’s time for Medicare for All.”

The organization supports Medicare for All legislation introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. A single-payer health care system would cover all Americans, including vision, dental, hearing, prescription drugs, mental health care and more.

The release goes on to say the COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized the need for government-paid insurance, with needy people and people of color suffering disproportionately — and are being driven deeper into poverty by medical bills.

“The clearest lesson from the COVID-19 crisis is that healthcare must be a right for all — and not a path to bankruptcy and deeper racial disparities,” Schaaf said in the release. “We’re mobilizing local leaders to build a national movement so the next Congress will adopt legislation that brings healthcare access to all.”

There already is a logo and a website — mayors4medicare.com — that includes a place for mayors to sign up and basic information about the group. The Twitter account is @Mayors4Medicare.

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