Bernie Sanders has been slowly building support among the Democratic Party for single-payer health care, and now he is planning to launch a campaign-style push around legislation he will introduce later this year.
In the wake of the failed health care reform vote, it appears that Obamacare will remain in place and there is growing willingness to reform the deficiencies of the current system rather than repeal and replace it. But Bernie Sanders is seizing the opportunity to push his “Medicare for All” plan that was a staple of his presidential campaign and that he had floated as legislation earlier this year.
As the Washington Post reported, Sanders is planning digital ads asking voters to endorse the plan and sign on for their support at his website. Sanders will top the campaign off with actual legislation to implement this single-payer system.
“We’re tweaking the final points of the bill, and we’re figuring out how we can mount a national campaign to bring people together,” Sanders said in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union.
Though Sanders lost the 2016 Democratic primary, in the months that followed he has made serious inroads within the Democratic Party despite largely being an outsider throughout his career. The core of Sanders’ support in the primary came from young voters, showing that his ideas will likely carry the future of the party.
Sanders may not have to wait long to see the fruits of his labor. There are already a number of big-names within the Democratic Party throwing their support behind single-payer healthcare, including Al Gore and Jimmy Carter.
Last month, the party’s largest donor also gave a very public endorsement of the Sanders platform. Tom Steyer, a hedge fund billionaire from California, said in an interview with Mic that the messages Sanders has been pushing will carry the party in the future.
“There is an absolute, unspoken war between corporate interests and the American people,” said Steyer, who gave close to $90 million to Democratic causes and candidates last year and backed Hillary Clinton in the election.
“That’s the underlying subtext for all of the public discussions within the Democratic party.”
“We’re seeing a deliberate attempt to take away [working families’] future by really rich people. Until we address that, I don’t think we’re dealing with the reality Americans are facing today,” he continued.
Steyer has been particularly supportive of single-payer, calling it the “gold standard” of the plans being proposed.
Though there is still plenty of support among voters and within the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders will still have some work to do in selling single-payer. The system has been proposed in a number of states including California and Vermont, but so far no state has found an effective and cost-efficient way to implement the program.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]