Medicare for All activist Ady Barkan delivers powerful DNC address on the 'fundamentally broken' health care system

Medicare for All activist Ady Barkan delivers powerful DNC address on the 'fundamentally broken' health care system

Medicare for All activist Ady Barkan, left paralyzed and unable to speak by ALS, delivered a powerful indictment of the "fundamentally broken" for-profit U.S. healthcare system in his remarks at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, decrying a status quo that saddles Americans with massive costs while providing inadequate treatment.


Using a voice-generating device attached to his wheelchair, Barkan relayed his experiences navigating America's fragmented and dysfunctional insurance system since his diagnosis in 2016 and said the Covid-19 crisis has shined a spotlight on "the tragic consequences" of the nation's failure to guarantee healthcare to all as a right.

"In the midst of a pandemic, nearly 100 million Americans do not have sufficient health insurance," said Barkan. "And even good insurance does not cover essential needs like long-term care. Our loved ones are dying in unsafe nursing homes, our nurses are overwhelmed and unprotected, and our essential workers are treated as dispensable."

"We live in the richest country in history, and yet we do not guarantee this most basic human right," Barkan continued. "Everyone living in America should get the healthcare they need, regardless of their employment status or ability to pay."

Condemning congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump for continuing their push to strip healthcare from millions amid a global pandemic, Barkan said "we all have a profound obligation to act—not only to vote, but to make sure that our friends, family, and neighbors vote as well."

"We must elect Joe Biden," added Barkan, who has publicly challenged the former vice president on his failure to support Medicare for All. "Each of us must be a hero for our communities, for our country, and then, with a compassionate and intelligent president, we must act together and put on his desk a bill that guarantees us all the healthcare we deserve."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.