Jeff Merkley Co-Sponsors Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare For All' Legislation

Posted September 13, 2017

Booker joined the small club of Democratic senators rallying around Sanders' "Medicare for All" bill, which is expected to be unveiled Wednesday and could cost the government billions or trillions of dollars to sustain. Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) "Medicare for all" health-care bill Monday.

While she has publicly stated her support for single-payer health insurance, cosponsoring Sanders' bill is more of a formal step. Senators Kamala Harris, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Elizabeth Warren declared their support for the bill last week.

The momentum among Democratic 2020 hopefuls showcases the scale of Sanders' early influence over the 2020 Democratic process.

Booker opposed Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with legislation that the Congressional Budget Office said would leave more than 20 million additional Americans without health coverage. It's a reminder of how much the Democratic Party is drifting toward a universe where single-payer health care is the default position. Well, they just happen to constitute four of the eight most likely 2020 Democratic presidential nominees, according to the handy list I put out Friday.

The rest of the party is getting on board with single-payer - or "Medicare for all", where the federal government would provide health insurance for every American financed through taxes - as well.

Sanders, the Vermont independent, is drawing support from top Democrats, including with Sen. There are still big fights to be had to create a Democratic Party untethered from lobbying and corporate money - a party more committed to advancing the power of workers and the grass roots. "It's the best way to ensure that every American finally has access to quality, affordable health care".

As the Overton window moves on healthcare, Republican moderates will become more convinced of the need to make only moderate reforms to the existing law to blunt the push for single-payer.

"I'll break some news: I intend to co-sponsor the Medicare-for-All bill because it's just the right thing to do", Harris said at a church in Oakland, California, last week.

The Vermont independent nearly stole the Democratic presidential nomination from Hillary Clinton a year ago.

Though Gillibrand has not yet formally announced that she will co-sponsor the bill, sources told Mic that she will do so soon and has privately felt supportive of the measure for some time.

But after Congress failed to end Obamacare, Democrats now seem poised to pick up the ball and run with it-at least as far as they can go while being the minority party in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.