Six senators have now signed on to co-sponsor Senator Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” health care bill.
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) (all of which are potential 2020 Democratic presidential nominees), as well as Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) have come out for the bill.
Senator Gillibrand stated, “Health care should be a right, not a privilege, so I will be joining Senator Bernie Sanders as a cosponsor on his Medicare-for-All legislation.”
The bill, which has yet to be formally introduced, plans to introduce a single-payer health care system, meaning universal government-run health care. The idea of single-payer health care has been pushed by Sanders since his campaign for president in the 2016 Democratic primaries.
According to the PEW Research Center, the majority of Americans believe that government has the responsibility to ensure health coverage for all:
This new surge of Democratic support for single-payer health care may just be the beginning. At the very least, it is a sign that the issue of single-payer health care could become a litmus test issue in the 2020 elections.
This is a huge shift in the Democratic party’s beliefs on singe-payer health care. During last year’s Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton labeled single-payer as “a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass.”