Sanders is set to introduce his legislation, which Democrats are calling "Medicare for all", on Wednesday. Sheldon Whitehouse, and Oregon's Jeff Merkley joined the growing group shortly after Booker on Monday afternoon. However, its introduction shows that numerous party's most prominent figures appear to be ready to use it as a campaign topic when it comes to 2018, when Democrats have a chance to control Congress, and 2020, when they may be able to use that hypothetical majority to create laws with a Democratic president.
In 2009, all Republican and two Democratic senators killed ACA's proposed "public option" that likely would have led to national single-payer health care (Medicare for all). A single payer bill in the House is cosponsored by more than half the Democratic caucus (though Nancy Pelosi is notably holding off).
Democrats are also worrying over whether placating Sanders' far-left, anti-establishment supporters will alienate moderate Democrats to such a degree that it will be impossible to gain congressional majorities in 2018 and the presidency in 2020. The poll showed just 33 percent overall favored single-payer specifically - versus a "mix of government and private programs" - but among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, 52 percent wanted single-payer. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), last Thursday. Sen. Today Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who's up for reelection next year, added her name to the list, and so did Sen. Attempts to dismantle portions of the bill have failed, but House and Senate GOP leaders remain committed to eliminating the law known as "Obamacare". "I think health care should be a right to all", Booker said. Bernie Sanders' "Medicare-for-all" bill, which would allow every American to enroll in the single-payer insurance program.
In any case, the first thing Democrats have to acknowledge is that if this is going to be their goal, they have a challenging persuasion task ahead of them.
As the Overton window moves on healthcare, Republican moderates will become more convinced of the need to make only moderate reforms to the existing law to blunt the push for single-payer.
"I think people love to talk about everything being about running for president", Murray said.
"You should not be punished because you are working-class or poor and be denied health care". Kirsten Gillibrand of NY and Chris Murphy of CT, whose staff has reportedly worked with Sanders on the legislation, have also expressed support for the idea of Medicare for All.
After former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was selected as the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, numerous voters who had backed Sanders in the primary were skeptical of her progressive chops.