Well the ‘inside/outside’ strategy seems to have picked up its first member of insider support:
Sen. Kamala Harris is the first Democrat to announce she’ll co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders’ single-payer health care bill when it’s introduced in September.
The California freshman — seen as a rising star in the party and a 2020 presidential prospect — revealed her plans to back Sanders’ legislation at a town hall Wednesday night in Oakland.
“Here, I’ll break some news: I intend to co-sponsor the Medicare-for-all bill, because it’s just the right thing to do,” Harris said. She announced her support for Sanders’ single-payer plan at the end of her town hall and joked that “somebody should tell my staff.”
Her co-sponsorship is another sign that the Democratic Party is increasingly embracing a shift away from the private health insurance market and toward a government-run program. The issue is poised to become a major litmus test for its presidential candidates in 2020.
It comes just 20 months after the party’s last standard-bearer in a presidential election, Hillary Clinton, called Sanders’ single-payer proposal “a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass.”
“This is about understanding, again, that health care should be a right, not a privilege. And it’s also about being smart,” Harris said. “It is so much better that people have meaningful access to affordable health care at every stage of life, from birth on. Because the alternative is that we as taxpayers otherwise are paying huge amounts of money for them to get their health care in an emergency room. So it’s not only about what is morally and ethically right, it also makes sense from a fiscal standpoint, or if you want to talk about it as a return on investment for taxpayers.”
Bernie gives thanks:
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 30, 2017