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March 31, 2022

House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on examining pathways to universal health coverage

On March 29, the House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing entitled, "Examining Pathways to Universal Health Coverage." During the hearing, both Democrats and Republicans discussed the high cost of care in the United States, but there was little agreement in how to address it. Democrats discussed proposals to build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and achieve universal health coverage in the United States. They primarily discussed legislation that would create a single-payer health insurance program in the United States, including Rep. Pramila Jayapal's (D-WA) Medicare for All Act (H.R. 1976) and Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) single-payer proposal. Republicans during the hearing lambasted such proposals, saying they would increase federal spending without addressing core inefficiencies of the current system and called on Democrats to consider market-based competitive policy solutions.

The committee heard from two panels of witnesses. The first, a panel of five patient advocates, shared their personal experiences navigating the health care system and concerns with costs and access to care. The Democratic witnesses stressed the need for universal coverage while the Republican witness noted concerns with the impact of the ACA on premiums and access. The second panel of experts included industry experts and patient advocates who in both their testimonies and responses to member questions discussed ways in which a Medicare for All system could address inequities in care and high costs in the current health care system. The Republican witness expressed her opposition to a Medicare for All plan and highlighted ways states have used Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers to create targeted solutions to improve care for their diverse populations.

  • More information is available here.

Additional information is also available in the attached Tax Alert.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Washington Council Ernst & Young
   • Heather Meade (
   • Heather Bell (


Universal healthcare coverage hearing