Student speaks out for Medicare in D.C.


Noah Kaufman

Pictured with the speech he gave in Washington, D.C., senior Zach Schimel sits proudly reflecting on his involvement with March for Medicare for All. Schimel also made social media content leading up to the march and rally.

On a stage in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. stood senior Zach Schimel, who was giving a speech advocating for “Medicare for All” in the United States. In addition to giving that speech last summer, Schimel took part in a march for the organization March for Medicare for All. 

“As I was speaking, I was very confident in my ability to [present my speech] because I had prepared a lot, but also because I had envisioned myself [giving a speech] since I started getting involved in politics a few years ago,” Schimel said.

March for Medicare for All is a healthcare activist group run by around 200 volunteers. The group fights for equitable healthcare in the United States for all people, regardless of income, ethnicity, legal status or abilities. 

“We all do what we can to contribute to the cause,” said Schimel. “While the thing that I do the most is social media stuff, I can do whatever [the organization needs] me to do. And everybody is like that. We really all are working together to push for Medicare for All.”

According to Elizabeth Meyer, a March for Medicare for All volunteer, Schimel maintains a balance between academics and helping with the group’s social media accounts, co-leading the marketing team and working on the organization’s leadership committee, which is the National Steering Committee.

“If there is an obstacle or something that needs to be taken care of, he constructively figures out a way to try and overcome [the challenge], so he can get through it and beyond,” Meyer said.

During the rally, a man went in front of the stage and yelled at someone while they were giving a speech. 

“I was surprised by him because I don’t think anybody was expecting that, especially with all the people we had there,” said Schimel. “[It was surprising] for somebody to just barge to the front and start yelling at someone, but we handled it.”

According to Meyer, Schimel’s passion and commitment to making change through the organization inspires and invigorate others.

“The fuel that he brings fuels other people, so then we can kind of just share it and keep going,” said Meyer. “He is definitely committed to this. He is very serious about achieving national improved Medicare for All.”

Last summer’s march started at The Ellipse and ended at Union Square in Washington, D.C., where the rally began.

“To be marching with so many people, so many of them who weren’t a part of our group [and] a huge majority who we didn’t know, it felt really good to see everybody come out for [the march] after we spent so much time and effort working on putting it together,” said Schimel. “It kind of shows you the power that political organizing can have.”