By James Wright, Special to the

There is a new caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives and many members of the Congressional Black Caucus are involved.

On July 19, progressive members of the House launched the Congressional Medicare for All Caucus. The organization’s primary purpose is to pass a bill that would mandate universal health care for all Americans that is free or inexpensive.

U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) is a member of the newly formed Medicare for All Caucus. (Courtesy Photo)

“I am proud to be a founding member of the Congressional Medicare for All Caucus,” U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) wrote on his Twitter page after attending the July 19 news conference on Capitol Hill. “Together, we will work to build on the progress made under the {Affordable Care Act} and finally ensure that no American has to live without the security of health insurance.”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) also attended the news conference and wrote on his Twitter page “throughout our country, there are millions of hard-working individuals who STILL can’t afford a visit to the doctor.”

“This is unacceptable and that’s why I believe in ,” he said.

The legislation that the new caucus seeks to pass is now being authored by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). Ellison is the co-chair of the Congressional Medicare for All Caucus with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.).

The CBC has gone on record as supporting Medicare for All. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is sponsoring a companion bill to Ellison’s in his chamber.

While the {Affordable Care Act}, popularly known as Obamacare, has allowed millions of Americans to obtain health insurance, there are 30 million who are currently uninsured according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. Obamacare is being openly undermined by the Trump administration with its cutting the number of navigators (those who help people sign up) and eliminating funding for information on the program.

At the news conference, the caucus gained a powerful ally: the National Nurses Union.

“Every day more Americans are rallying behind the need for fundamental reform of our flawed and fragmented healthcare system that denies care to millions of our neighbors and family members,” NNU co-president Deborah Burger said. “With polls showing increasing support for Medicare for all, and new signs of a system that is out of control, the formation of this congressional caucus could not be more timely.”

Leaders of the July 19 news conference announced a March Kaiser Family Foundation survey that shows 60 percent of Americans support Medicare for all.

Martese Chisholm is a practicing nurse in Chicago and an active member of the NNU. Chisholm told the AFRO that African Americans will be primary beneficiaries of the work of the new Medicare for All caucus.

“Black people are the main ones who need to be insured,” Chisholm said. “We are the ones who are dealing with diabetes, hypertension, and congestive heart failure and we are the ones who would benefit the most from Medicare for all. There are a high number of African Americans who are uninsured particularly in the South where many Black people work at jobs that don’t offer health insurance.”