Growing List of Democrats Supporting Sanders’ Universal Medicare

REUTERS/Larry Downing

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders is watching growing support for his universal medicare bill. Now New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has signed on to co-sponsor the legislation.

Sanders is expected to roll out his single-payer proposal on Wednesday.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege. This week, I’ll proudly join Senator Bernie Sanders to co-sponsor Medicare for All,” Gillibrand wrote on Twitter.

It would offer Americans the same kind of health care that is afforded Canadians, where the government entirely funds health care through tax dollars and various “levies” that are deducted when people pay their income taxes every year.

If Gillibrand is staking out territory on the left of the Democratic Party, it is because she is apparently weighing her chances for a run at the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. She is one of a handful of other Democratic aspirants who aren’t wasting any time in promoting their potential candidacies on the internet.

As the junior senator from New York, Gillibrand is in a legislative position once occupied by a former presidential nominee: Hillary Clinton. By supporting Sanders’ Medicare option, Gillibrand is the among three other possible Democratic presidential nominees who have also sided with the independent senator: California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

Sanders’s bill is simply to expand the Medicare program — launched as part of then-president Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society — to cover every American not just hose over the age of 65. Sanders estimates that it will cost $1.3 billion to bring all Americans under the medicare umbrella.

A recent report from the Canadian think tank the Fraser Institute demonstrates how “free” heath care is never free. “A typical Canadian family of four will pay $12,057 for health care in 2017 — an increase of nearly 70 percent over the last 20 years.”

In 2016, 63,000 Canadians left the country to seek health care they couldn’t receive at all or in a timely manner — the vast majority came to the U.S.

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