Kamala Harris announces she will co-sponsor single-payer healthcare

Kamala Harris announces she will co-sponsor single-payer healthcare
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisDHS chief takes heat over Trump furor NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Democrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration MORE (D-Calif.) announced during a town hall on Wednesday that she would support Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) Former Sanders campaign manager: Don't expect email list to be shared with DNC Adult film star: Trump and Stormy Daniels invited me to 'hang out' MORE's (I-Vt.) "Medicare for All" bill, which would institute a single-payer health insurance system.

"I intend to co-sponsor the 'Medicare for All' bill because it’s just the right thing to do," Harris announced Wednesday at a town hall in Oakland.

"It's not just about what is morally and ethically right, it also makes sense just from a fiscal standpoint," she said.

The decision to co-sponsor Sanders's bill is Harris's first instance of publicly supporting single-payer. 

In July, Harris said she supported single-payer "as a concept" but that lawmakers still needed to "work out the details."

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Sanders said earlier this week that he was building support for his “Medicare for All” bill.

“You’re seeing more and more movement toward ‘Medicare for All,'" Sanders said. "When the people are saying we need healthcare for everyone, as more and more Americans come on board, it will become politically possible.”

The former presidential candidate's backing for the policy has raised questions about whether he and his supporters might launch primary challenges against Democrats who do not back a single-payer plan.

Sanders on Wednesday thanked Harris over Twitter for her announcement as well.

"Thank you Kamala Harris for your support. Let's make health care a right, not a privilege," he tweeted.