On single-payer, the Democratic floodgates have opened

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This is the backdrop against which Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders plans to formally introduce Medicare for All tomorrow in the Senate. When Sanders made the idea a central part of presidential campaign, several Democrats, including congressional leadership and the party's eventual nominee Hillary Clinton, said the proposal was unrealistic and would be too costly and disruptive to the USA economy.

"[Democrats are] fighting for health care as a right for all, and not a privilege for a few." he said.

Very few members of the media were on hand as the Convergence kicked off. Brana's campaign, which Sanders has repeatedly (albeit politely) rebuffed, is the best-organized of several efforts to turn progressives away from the Democratic Party. The "Medicare-for-all" concept was supported by a small number of Democrats, most of whom hailed from deep blue districts. Kirsten Gillibrand of NY took to social media to announce her intention to co-sponsor Sanders' "Medicare for All" bill. Booker said to NJTV News.

The focus in Washington, D.C. has shifted to tax reform, but Price says health care reform is still a priority, telling McDowell, "Repeal and replace is an absolute necessity".

"We have always believed in universal health care".

In 2006, the Democratic challenger in New York's 20th Congressional District race announced her support for a different approach to health care: allowing Americans to buy into Medicare. "Nobody goes broke paying a medical bill".

The plan, called "Medicare for All", would expand the federal health care program that covers those over 65 to all Americans.

It is unclear what if any progress the progressive bill will make in a Senate controlled by Republicans, who have chafed at the cost of such a proposal. Thus, he was no doubt surprised when, during a discussion at Montana State University last Thursday, Baucus offered the following comment: "My personal view is we've got to start looking at single-payer".

"You should not be punished because you are working-class or poor and be denied health care".

For those who followed the debate over the Affordable Care Act's creation closely, Max Baucus is an important figure. Meantime, Sanders's stronger-than-expected challenge to Clinton in 2016 showed the power that a base-energizing, single-payer-supporting candidate can have. "None of these other things, whether it's Bernie's (bill), can really prevail unless we have the Affordable Care Act protected".

Underscoring the unease, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, a long-time backer of the single-payer idea, declined to endorse Sanders' measure Tuesday. 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.

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