A growing number of Democratic senators -- including several party power-players - will stand with independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Wednesday as co-sponsors to his latest bill for a government run, single-payer health care system.
Sanders himself has conceded his bill has little chance in the GOP-dominated Congress, telling NPR the objective is to inject a single-payer system into the health care debate on Capitol Hill. The House passed a bill, the Senate needs to pay attention and make sure they're able to pass a bill as well. In short, using Sanders' plan as a catalyst for a takeover by Democrats of the House and Senate would cost more votes than it attracts. But he repeated that he and Pelosi share view that the "immediate objective" is to protect Obamacare. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who's also rumored to be interested in the 2020 presidential race, announced her support for the legislation, as did Sens.
"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 health care solution plan she touted included "a measure to allow anyone to buy into Medicare". "We should have Medicare for all in this country", the NY senator said, according to CNN.
Expanded health care coverage through efforts such as making Medicare available to all Americans has increasingly become popular among Democrats recently, especially since the 2016 elections.
The newspaper reported that one union activist, postal worker Mark Sarcone said of Merkley: "I think he's a potential vice president".
While Medicare for all was still a long shot, Gillibrand remained a supporter.
"But he and his followers' attacks on me kept getting more and more personal, despite him asking me not to attack him personally".
Tester is hardly the only Democrat to resist this debate. With the Democrats marching left and the Republicans paralyzed, this seems increasingly likely to hold up.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told Bloomberg that he was open to exploring a single-payer health insurance program. That four of the first five to come out in support of Sanders's bill all came from a relatively small universe of top presidential hopefuls suggests that this will be a litmus test issue in 2020. The reality is that the Democratic Party is out of ideas, out of talent, and out of favor with the voters.
A majority of Americans say the government is responsible for ensuring all Americans have health coverage, according to a Pew Research poll released this summer.