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- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she paid more than twice as much for healthcare as a waitress than she will as a congresswoman.
- In a series of tweets, the congresswoman-elect advocated for the extension of government Medicare coverage to every American.
- She said it was “frustrating” that Congress members would “deny other people affordability that they themselves enjoy.”
Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she had to pay more than twice as much for healthcare as a waitress compared with what she will pay as a congresswoman.
Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, said her healthcare options as a member of Congress were far more affordable compared with those she had when she was working as a waitress, and earning less money, in New York City.
“As a waitress, I had to pay more than TWICE what I’d pay as a member of Congress,” she wrote.
Ocasio-Cortez worked as a waitress and bartender to supplement her mother’s income after graduating from college.
She also called for an extension of government Medicare coverage to every American.
“It’s frustrating that Congress members would deny other people affordability that they themselves enjoy. Time for #MedicareForAll.”
Fact-checking website Snopes reported that members of Congress choose from a gold-level Obamacare policy and receive federal subsidies that cover 72% of the cost of the premiums.
Overall, they “pay approximately 28 percent of their annual healthcare premiums through pre-tax payroll deductions,” according to Snopes.
According to health insurance the calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation, an individual living in New York and earning $27,000 a year, a typical waiter’s salary, would pay $166 a month in premiums for a silver Obamacare policy.
The expansion of Medicare to all Americans was popularized by Sen. Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential campaign when Ocasio-Cortez served as one of his volunteers.
Ocasio-Cortez and other Democratic freshmen senators support the platform, and healthcare became the dominant issue for Democrats during the midterm elections. But many centrist Democrats fear the policy would alienate voters and shy away from the idea of one government-run system.
A Reuters-Ipsos survey in August found that 70% of Americans are in favor of Medicare for All.
Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter that Americans “don’t want overly complicated choice between pricey, low-quality plans.
“We want an affordable solution that covers our needs, like the rest of the modern world.”