elevator/ grocery line speeches

One of the best ways we are finding to educate people about Medicare for All is in brief spontaneous conservations, like when you’re standing in line at a movie, concert, the grocery store, or in an elevator. If you’re wearing your Medicare for All button, people will ask you about it. Be prepared to give good, concise answers by using one of these “elevator speeches” that we’ve prepared. If you have suggestions for additional 30-second pitches, please let us know!


  1. Know about Medicare for All? Medicare, the government’s health insurance program for seniors, is very popular and has been extremely successful in holding down costs. Medicare for All is the next step forward. It will eliminate out-of-pocket payments and cover costs for dental work, hearing, vision, and prescription drugs. It will protect everyone and you’ll have complete freedom to choose your doctors and hospitals. We’ll pay for it through taxes, but those will be less than what most now pay for healthcare.
  2. Do you know that we pay twice as much per capita for healthcare as any other developed country? That many of our health outcomes and our life expectancy are worse than theirs? Do you know that 30 cents of every healthcare dollar is spent on administrative overhead? Only Medicare for All can lower overall healthcare spending, save money for most businesses and households, and at the same time provide everyone with dependable coverage and free choice of private doctors and hospitals.
  3. Medicare for All is the only genuine solution for our healthcare problems. Strengthening the ACA (Obamacare) will not eliminate all the waste in our current system in which 30 cents of every healthcare dollar goes to administrative overhead. The so-called public option will not eliminate administrative waste. Only a single-payer system, where taxes are used to pay private doctors and hospitals, can do that. Ninety-five percent of us would pay less than we do now for all-inclusive coverage with complete freedom to choose our doctors and hospitals. It’s the only way to go.
  4. Do you know anyone on Medicare who would choose to go back to their previous health insurance plan? You hear about people reluctant to give up their current plan, but few realize how high their deductibles and out-of-pocket spending will be when they need care. Medicare for All will cover everyone, and nearly every medical need, with complete freedom to choose our doctors and hospitals. Make Medicare for All the last insurance change you’ll ever have to make. 
  5. You may think you want to keep your present job-related insurance plan, but what if you get laid off, or the company closes? What if you want to start a business, but can’t afford insurance? With Medicare for All, you won’t be stuck in a job you don’t like just for health insurance. Nor will you have to put up with one of the high-deductible plans most workers are being forced into. You and your employer will pay less and get significantly better benefits. Make Medicare for All—insurance for life—the last plan you’ll ever sign up for.
  6. You say you like the idea of Medicare for All but that it would be too disruptive? Isn’t it disruptive now if your deductible is so high you can’t afford to get needed care? Isn’t it disruptive now if you lose your insurance because you change jobs, get laid off, or your company shuts down? Medicare for All will bring order to a chaotic system, serenity and stability in place of worrisome disruptions. Think about it: superior healthcare and peace of mind. It’s time.
  7. Do you know that over 70% of Americans support Medicare for All? Over half of Republicans and physicians? They realize that we need a real solution to our healthcare mess, that we need to do more than tinker with the ACA (Obamacare). We need to eliminate insurance companies, middlemen who stand between you and access to healthcare. They have caused 30 cents of every healthcare dollar to be spent on wasteful administrative overhead. Medicare is a popular and efficient program. Don’t you agree that everyone should have it, especially in an improved form?
  8. I know many doctors, including specialists, who say that Medicare for All is the best solution to our health insurance mess. Doctors spend too much time arguing with insurance companies about recommended treatments. The average doctor spends over $80,000 each year on insurance and billing. If we simplify that process with Medicare for All, every doctor will get a substantial raise and have more time to spend with patients. 
  9. Are you concerned that Medicare for All might give the government too much control over healthcare? Do you think there’s too much government control in Medicare now? No Medicare patient does, and almost all doctors and hospitals participate in Medicare. It’s the most popular and most efficient healthcare insurance program in the country. I think we should provide an improved Medicare to everyone. We’ll save billions of dollars in the process.
  10. You think of Medicare for All as socialized medicine? That’s the scare tactic Reagan and the AMA used against Medicare in the 1960s. Medicare certainly isn’t socialism. Like Medicare, a far cry from socialized medicine, Medicare for All will use a government agency to pay private doctors and hospitals, thereby saving billions of dollars in wasteful administrative overhead. What we have now is commercialized medicine with out-of-control costs and unjustifiable profits. It’s not working well for most people.
  11. Is healthcare a right or a privilege? What’s sure is that at one time or another it’s a necessity. We share the cost of fire and police protection, of roads and schools—commonsense community benefits. In the place of restrictive and expensive private insurance, desperate efforts to pay for care with GoFundMe campaigns, fragmented charity groups, and bake sales, shouldn’t we share the costs of healthcare as well? Medicare for All can do that—and save money.
  12. My doctor says he/she went into medicine to help their patients, not to drive them into bankruptcy. A majority of Americans who file for bankruptcy do so because of medical bills, and most of them have some form of health insurance. Doctors would be happier if they didn’t have to worry whether their patients can afford the treatments they recommend. Patients would be better off with dependable, comprehensive health insurance. Medicare for All will deliver.
  13. So you like the idea of Medicare for All but don’t believe it’s politically possible? That’s what people once said about other big issues like slavery, women’s suffrage, civil rights, and LGBTQ equality. If enough people like you care and share their feelings with others, including elected officials, we’ll get there. It’s a bold idea, but only Medicare for All can solve our big healthcare problems. Write letters to newspapers, talk to your social groups, tell your employer how it would help his/her business, call your representatives. Demand Medicare for All as the best solution for our country.
  14. Do you know someone who has delayed medical care because of costs?  About one-third of Americans do so each year. Others ration medicines because they can’t afford them. Our current healthcare system endangers Americans. If your house catches on fire, you don’t worry about paying someone to put it out. Why should it be different if you get sick or injured? Medicare for All will deliver to all Americans the healthcare they need and peace of mind they deserve—and save nearly everyone money in the process.
  15. Some people fear that Medicare for All will cost too much and wreck our economy. Do you know that every study, even one by the conservative Mercatus Center (funded by the Koch brothers), shows that Medicare for All will cost less than what we’re spending now? Controlling wasteful administrative overhead (a staggering third of all healthcare spending!) and lowering drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate will allow us to take control of rising healthcare costs. Only Medicare for All can do that.
  16. Have you heard that taxes to fund Medicare for All will be prohibitive or wreck the economy? Stop! If you make under $400,000/yr, any taxes you’ll pay will be less than what you personally pay for healthcare currently. Better yet, Medicare for All will cover things your current insurance doesn’t, like prescriptions and dental and long-term care, among others. This is possible because Medicare for All will eliminate the administrative waste caused by having hundreds of insurance companies standing between you and your healthcare. It’s the only way to go.
  17. Have you heard that Medicare for All will lead to rationing and long wait times? There’s simply no evidence for that. It’s a scare tactic employed by insurance and drug companies who fear they’ll lose money. The truth is that the wealthiest country in the world can easily afford good healthcare for everyone. Taking back money wasted on administrative overhead and inflated drug prices will allow us to provide timely care to everyone. Let’s get insurance companies, greedy corporations that come between you and the healthcare you deserve, out of the way.
  18. Are you concerned that if healthcare is free, people will abuse the system? Do you understand that it won’t be free, any more than schools, police, and fire departments are free? We pay for them collectively and use them as needed. It will be the same with Medicare for All. People don’t go to the doctor for fun, and too many people don’t go when they should because they can’t afford to. That costs us more in the long run in lost productivity and, most of all, in human suffering.