California’s junior senator, Kamala Harris, announced on Wednesday that she will co-sponsor Senator Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All’’ bill. The move is likely to energize the left ahead of the 2018 presidential elections.
Speaking to a cheering crowd at a packed town hall meeting Wednesday in Oakland — where she was raised — Harris announced for the first time that she intended to co-sponsor “Medicare for All,’’ the single-payer health care bill which has the strong support of progressives and groups including National Nurses United, saying it was “the right thing to do.”
Her announcement marks a departure from the position held by the state’s senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, who this week at the Commonwealth Club of California said she favored a public option for health care instead.
Harris, asked about those differences at a press conference with Feinstein after the town hall, insisted that “it’s about creating an opportunity for a larger number of people to access good quality health care.”
“There’s no question that … all people should have access to affordable health care, and as we talk about moving toward a single-payer system, I think there is certainly energy and momentum toward that,’’ she told reporters. “Americans are making very clear when they defeated the repeal of ACA … that they don’t want to play politics with their health care.”
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