Last week, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and 16 other Senate Democrats introduced the Medicare for All Act, legislation that would switch the nation’s health care to a single-payer system.
If passed, the legislation would establish a national health insurance program — dubbed the Universal Medicare Program — that would eventually cover every U.S. resident.
Joining Sanders as cosponsors of the bill were Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Al Franken, D-Minn., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Edward Markey, D-Mass., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
The idea of single-payer health care is not new, but has gained traction among progressives as a possible improvement upon the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Many Democrats still aren’t on board, however, and the idea has presented a split in the Democratic Party on how to best move forward with health care policy as Republicans continue to keep repeal and replace of Obamacare on the back burner.