Merkley signs onto Sanders' Medicare for All bill

Emmett Rice
September 13, 2017

Jeff Merkley took a trip to Iowa that sparked more talk about his presidential ambitions, and while on the road announced that he will sponsor a "Medicare for All" bill drafted by Sen.

Sanders and his co-sponsors will unveil the Medicare for All bill Wednesday.

Booker, who has been floated as a possible contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, said Obamacare was just a "first step" in securing healthcare for all Americans.

One prominent Democrat, however, refuses to support the bill: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that she wouldn't back Sanders' legislation, noting that she was instead focused on "protecting the Affordable Care Act".

Many Democrats wobbly from their new found health policy triumph are eagerly aiming for the mountaintop demonstrating a single-payer system for all Americans.

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.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another senator popular with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, announced her support on Thursday in an email to supporters. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. That's when many Democrats will defend Senate seats in GOP-leaning states where liberal voters are scarce. "I think health care should be a right to all", said Booker.

Still, single-payer is gaining traction among Democrats.

It would offer Americans the same kind of health care that is afforded Canadians, where the government entirely funds health care through tax dollars and various "levies" that are deducted when people pay their income taxes every year.

"As I've been traveling around NY, the number one thing I keep hearing from New Yorkers is that people are very anxious that their health care is still too expensive", Gillibrand said Tuesday. "I think, right now, he wants to be the rational and reasonable voice of the progressive wing of the Democratic party".

That's not to say single-payer isn't gaining support elsewhere in the Senate Democratic caucus. Kirsten Gillibrand has signed on to co-sponsor the legislation. The legislation comes in light of uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama's healthcare law that continues to be in the crosshairs of congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump. Just previous year, Hillary Clinton dismissed single-payer as "a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass".

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