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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

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Mar 31, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic reignited a debate that has been raging for years: healthcare. There are few issues as consequential in the lives of Americans as healthcare. Every single American will interact with the healthcare system, and most people will find that interaction less than satisfactory. And yet for every dollar spent in our economy, 18 cents goes to healthcare, leaving many to ask: what are we paying for, exactly?

Doctors Abdul El-Sayed and Micah Johnson joined us to present a simple guide to America’s most debated policy-in-waiting. Using their book Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide as a base, they related how, although healthcare policy is notoriously complex, what Americans want is simple: good healthcare that’s easy to use and doesn’t break the bank. And two-thirds of Americans want the government to provide universal health coverage. Is Medicare for All the solution? El-Sayed and Johnson offered a serious examination of this complex subject, offering viewpoints on how Medicare for All would transform the way we give, receive, and pay for healthcare in America. Don’t miss this conversation that is perhaps more significant than ever before.

Abdul El-Sayed, MD, DPhil, is a physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist. He rebuilt Detroit’s Health Department after the City’s bankruptcy as the youngest big-city health commissioner in a major US city. He ran for Governor of Michigan in 2018 on a state-level single-payer platform in a bid endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, The Nation, and Current Affairs. He holds a doctorate in Public Health from University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a medical degree from Columbia University.

Micah Johnson, MD, is a physician and a health care researcher, writer, and policy advisor. He served as a health policy fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives and has advised presidential campaigns on health care reform. He holds a degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and he received his MD from Harvard Medical School. He is currently a resident physician in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

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