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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 HarrisDem senators unveil expanded public option for health insurance Dems see Mueller firing as a red line on impeachment Clinton to fundraise alongside possible 2020 contenders MORE (D-Calif.) announced during a town hall on Wednesday that she would support Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders, Warren, O’Rourke inspire patriotic small donor waves Bill Press reflects on Clinton, Sanders and a life in politics Overnight Health Care: GOP pushes stiff work requirements for food stamps | Johnny Isakson opens up about family's tragic loss to opioids | Republicans refuse to back vulnerable Dem's opioids bill | Dems offer new public option plan 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.