Sen. Cory Booker announced first on NJTV News that he is co-sponsoring Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ single-payer health care bill.
The plan, called “Medicare for All,” would expand the federal health care program that covers those over 65 to all Americans.
Under a single-payer system, the federal government would pay for all medical expenses.
“You should not be punished because you are working-class or poor and be denied health care. I think health care should be a right to all,” said Booker. “This is something that’s got to happen. Obamacare was a first step in advancing this country, but I won’t rest until every American has a basic security that comes with having access to affordable health care.”
The “Medicare for all” plan has been estimated to cost $1.38 trillion per year and would be paid for with a combination of limiting tax deductions and increasing income tax for the wealthy, according to Sanders’ website.
“The only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis is a single-payer national health care program,” said Sanders. As a presidential candidate in 2016, Sanders made single-payer health care a key part of his platform.
Booker is not the only high-profile Democratic senator to announce his support for the plan. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and California Sen. Kamala Harris have already announced they are co-sponsoring Sanders’ bill. Warren, Harris and Booker are widely considered to be top contenders for the 2020 democratic presidential nomination.
The plan represents a notable shift in the Democratic party’s platform on health care. However, the bill is extremely unlikely to pass in the Republican-held Congress.
Sanders’ office has announced he will introduce the bill on Wednesday.