The Vermont senator’s single-payer health care plan is sharply dividing the Democratic Party.
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) Medicare for All legislation, a single-payer health care proposal expected to be introduced Wednesday and with zero chance of passage in a Republican-controlled Congress, is not universally supported by all Democrats and is causing friction within the party.
While most Democrats with possible White House ambitions in 2020 have come out in support of the bill, many others are lukewarm, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters that he would be “looking at all of” the party’s “many good” proposals to expand health care access, but declined to back Sanders. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared that her priority is shielding Obamacare from a GOP repeal push that’s not yet dead for good.
Included on the list of Democrats not on board: most facing tough midterm reelection fights in 2018.
Still, 15 Democrats have publicly backed single-payer to date – a sharp increase from the zero cosponsors Sanders had for essentially the same bill in 2013.
The latest names to jump aboard the single-payer train include Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Rumors abound concerning each one of those senators making a White House run in 2020.
Single-payer has emerged from the 2016 Democratic primary as a litmus test for Democrats seeking the support of far-left liberals. A spokesman for the NRCC pledged last month that support for single-payer health care among Democrats would make them “unelectable” in the 2018 midterms.
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