Over the last couple of years, thanks largely to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an interest in single-payer health care has grown tremendously. One of the latest polls shows that 33 percent of Americans support a single payer health care bill, and 60 percent believe it is the federal government’s responsibility to ensure the country’s citizens are covered.
Senator Sanders is currently planning to introduce a single-payer health care bill in the Senate, and he already has at least one supporter.
On Wednesday, during a town hall in Oakland, California, Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) announced that she intends to co-sponsor Sanders’ bill.
‘I intend to co-sponsor the “Medicare for All” bill because it’s just the right thing to do.
She went on to say that health care should be a “nonpartisan issue.”
‘Health care should be a right, not a privilege. This should not be a partisan issue. It shouldn’t even be a bipartisan issue. It should be a nonpartisan issue.’
Harris also argued that a single-payer system care makes fiscal sense.
‘It is so much better that people have a meaningful access to affordable health care at every stage of life — from birth onward. The alternative is that taxpayers are paying huge amounts of money for them to get health care in an emergency room.’
Following the town hall, Harris reiterated her support for the bill on Twitter.
Her followers immediately let her know that they’re on board with this decision.
Sanders also joined in on thanking Harris for her support.
Harris’ announcement comes shortly after she said that she supports universal health care “as a concept.”
Earlier this summer, at a rally in Torrance, California, Harris said:
‘As a concept, I’m completely in support of single-payer, but we’ve got to work out the details, and the details matter on that.’
Even with Harris’ support, Sanders’ bill will have a hard time making it through the Republican-controlled Senate. However, there is hope. The House version of the bill, which is sponsored by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Michigan), already has 117 co-sponsors, including 27 California Democratic House members. The fact that Republicans failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act earlier this summer is also sure to work in congressional Democrats’ favor.
Featured image via Zach Gibson/Getty Images.