Warren to co-sponsor Sanders’ single-payer health care bill
(CNN) — Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced Thursday that she will co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill, becoming the latest potential 2020 hopeful to sign onto the policy, a favorite of progressives.
“I believe it’s time to take a step back and ask: what is the best way to deliver high quality, low cost health care to all Americans? Everything should be on the table — and that’s why I’m co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill that will be introduced later this month,” she wrote in a post on her website.
In the lengthy entry, Warren detailed her decision for her supporters, drawing on her own experiences as part of her reason for co-sponsoring the legislation.
“My own family plunged deep into debt when my daddy had a heart attack. My parents paid on those bills for years,” she wrote. “Years later, as a bankruptcy law professor, I studied why working families were going broke. Through interviews and court documents, my research partners and I showed that most people who file for bankruptcy looked a lot like my family.”
“Medicare for All is one way that we can give every single person in the country access to high quality health care. Everyone is covered. Nobody goes broke paying a medical bill. Families don’t have to bear the costs of heartbreaking medical disasters on their own,” she concluded.
Sanders has said he plans to introduce the bill later this month. The legislation, however, has virtually no chance of passage in a Republican-controlled Senate.
Warren has previously voiced support for a single-payer health care option, telling The Wall Street Journal in late June that it was “time for the next step” on health care.
“And the next step is single-payer,” she said.
Sanders thanked Warren for her support in a tweet, writing, “The momentum is on our side. Let’s make health care a right.”
The liberal firebrands have teamed up together in the past to discuss health care, and Warren was once floated as a possible vice presidential pick during Sanders’ campaign. But the Massachusetts Democrat declined to endorse Sanders during the Democratic primaries, waiting until it was clear that Hillary Clinton would secure the nomination before backing her in June 2016.
Her co-sponsorship announcement follows that of Sen. Kamala Harris, who declared her support for the bill at a town hall last month.
Single-payer health care is increasingly becoming a litmus test for progressives in upcoming elections, and both Warren and Harris have fueled speculation about possible 2020 presidential bids. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has also voiced her support for a single-payer option but has yet to come out in favor of Sanders’ bill.