Jonathan Cohn

Mar 18, 2021

2 min read

More than Half of the House Democratic Caucus Supports Medicare for All. But How Did Support Change Since Last Session?

Earlier today, Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2021, which would guarantee health care to everyone as a human right.

They were joined by 111 of their colleagues (109 representatives and two delegates, Eleanor Holmes Norton of DC and Gregorio Sablan of the Northern Marian Islands). With 111 members of the 219-member voting caucus, the bill commands a slim majority, and it’s likely that the vacant seats will be filled by future co-sponsors.

Last session, the bill had the support of 119 members. What accounts for the difference?

Seven first-year members of Congress replaced previous co-sponsors of the bill (five in open seats, two in primaries):

  • John Lewis → Nikema Williams in GA-05
  • Tulsi Gabbard → Kai Kahele in HI-02
  • Lacy Clay → Cori Bush in MO-01
  • Ben Lujan → Teresa Leger Fernandez in NM-03
  • Jose Serrano → Ritchie Torres in NY-15
  • Eliot Engel → Jamaal Bowman in NY-16
  • Nita Lowey → Mondaire Jones in NY-17

Two first-year members replaced Democrats who had not been co-sponsors (one in an open seat and one in a primary)

  • Susan Davis → Sara Jacobs in CA-53
  • Dan Lipinski → Marie Newman in IL-03

Three Medicare for All co-sponsors were succeeded by Democrats who did not sign on to the bill:

  • Pete Visclosky → Frank Mrvan in IN-01
  • Joe Kennedy → Jake Auchincloss in MA-04
  • Elijah Cummings → Kweisi Mfume in MD-07

No co-sponsor of the bill lost their seat to a Republican, but Katie Hill (CA-25) resigned and her seat is now held by a Republican.

Two former co-sponsors are now members of the Biden administration: Marcia Fudge (OH-11) and Deb Haaland (NM-01).

Six former co-sponsors of the bill did not sign on today:

  • Joyce Beatty (OH-03)
  • Jared Golden (ME-02)
  • Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15)
  • Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
  • Tim Ryan (OH-13)
  • Pete Visclosky (IN-01)

But three Democrats who had not been co-sponsors did:

  • Tony Cárdenas (CA-29)
  • Ted Deutch (FL-22)
  • Frank Pallone (NJ-06)