Panel: Medicare for All as a Political Campaign Theme
Date and Time Saturday June 23rd, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM
Facilitator: Donna Dewitt, former President South Carolina AFL-CIO; Erin Murphy, DFL-endorsed Minnesota candidate for Governor; Randy Bryce, candidate for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. Respondent: MN State Senator John Marty
"I know healthcare from every angle – as a nurse, first in a rural hospital and then on a transplant team, as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Nurses Association, and as a legislative leader on health and human services. And from every angle, I see that corporate profits have been prioritized over patients and workers.
I am a supporter of single-payer and a co-author on John Marty’s Minnesota Health Plan. A full single-payer solution isn’t possible without federal participation, but we can build the infrastructure here in Minnesota and lead the nation. Let’s start by opening up MinnesotaCare to anyone who wants it. In 2014 I passed legislation that expanded a public option for school employees and they are seeing lower costs and higher-quality care. Then let’s contract directly with providers – nurses, doctors, and hospitals. Putting providers and Minnesotans back in control of their care, and trusting providers as they do their best work, will drive better value and most importantly, health outcomes. We must invest in our healthcare workforce. Training programs that target nurses, home healthcare workers, and others will help meet the needs of patients, while also revitalizing local economies across the state"
Randy was raised in southeastern Wisconsin, and went to public schools. Randy’s father was a police officer, and his mother worked in a doctor’s office. Both currently suffer from serious health issues - his mother from multiple sclerosis, and his father from Alzheimer's. Seeing their health struggles in the face of Paul Ryan’s attempts to repeal Obamacare and attack Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, helped Randy decide to enter the race.
After high school graduation, Randy enlisted in the U.S. Army, and was posted to Honduras, where he earned the Army Achievement Medal. When he came home, he got a job working with homeless veterans, until the government stopped funding the program. After that, like a lot of veterans, Randy struggled to find work and ultimately took two full time jobs just to get by. Many years later, that experience led Randy to help found the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce.
In his late 20s, Randy was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Despite working two jobs, he didn’t have health insurance. So, the bills bankrupted him. The doctors also told him it was unlikely he could ever have children. While he was in recovery, Randy found his way to an apprenticeship as an ironworker, which he describes as his ticket to the middle class. His career as an ironworker allowed him to exit bankruptcy and provide health insurance for his son Ben, who now attends public school like his Dad did.
Grateful for all the union had given him, Randy became an active member, and helped organize the resistance to Governor Scott Walker’s Act 10, which worked to destroy teachers and other public sector unions in the state. After that loss, Randy realized he couldn’t sit on the sidelines anymore and he’s been fighting for working families ever since.
As senator, Marty represents Roseville, Lauderdale, Falcon Heights, and northern St. Paul.