I Support Medicare for All Because Health Care is a Civil Right, a Human Right

Our nation is too great and noble to have an unjust health care system where access is granted solely on one's economic station in life.

Republished with permission from Senator Cory Booker's Medium Page

Two months ago, I sat down on the steps of the United States Capitol with one of my personal heroes, Congressman John Lewis, to protest Congressional Republicans' efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. As evening turned into night, we were inspired as hundreds of Americans joined us, reminding us that a long American tradition of standing up in the face of injustice in the name of love and commitment to our fellow citizens is alive and well.

A civil rights giant, Congressman Lewis had stood up and sat in many times before, often risking his life to advocate for the equality and just treatment of all Americans. On one historic occasion in 1965, Congressman Lewis and hundreds of others participated in a nonviolent march for voting rights in Selma, Alabama. The march became known as Bloody Sunday because so many were injured by the blows of authorities' billy clubs and the sting of their tear gas.

In marching to guarantee the right to equal access to the ballot, those who were injured in Selma that day were also confronted with the reality that they were not guaranteed the right to access health care. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned segregation in health care facilities, there was only one hospital in the area that would treat injured African Americans — Good Samaritan Hospital. Many of those who marched, including Congressman Lewis, were cared for at Good Samaritan that day.

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