Ady Barkan Testifies Before Congress with Help of Computer Speech As He Battles ALS

ALS stole Ady Barkan’s voice at a tragically young age—but not his drive to fight for Medicare for All while he is still alive.

“Never before have I given a speech without my natural voice, to lay out my arguments, convey my most passionately held beliefs, tell the details of my personal story,” he stated via a computer voice system.

Barkan was diagnosed with ALS at age 32, and has become increasingly more paralyzed.

“Although my story is tragic, it is not unique,” he said. “And yet, in this country, the wealthiest in the history of human civilization, we do not have an effective, of fair, or rational system for delivering [health care].

Barkan says that he and his wife have had to fight with their insurer to get the benefits they pay for — something that should happen in a country with so much money and so many resources.

“We have so little time left together, and yet our system forces us to waste it dealing with bills and bureaucracy,” he said. “That is why I am here today, urging you to build a more rational, fair, efficient, and effective system. I am here today to urge you to enact Medicare for all.”