Merkley announces he will co-sponsor 'Medicare-for-all' bill

Merkley announces he will co-sponsor 'Medicare-for-all' bill
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyMerkley leads Dem lawmakers to border amid migrant policy outcry DHS secretary defends Trump administration's migrant policies Trump faces Father’s Day pleas to end separations of migrant families MORE (D-Ore.) on Monday announced he would co-sponsor the "Medicare-for-all" bill being introduced by Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) Sanders If Congress takes no action, the Social Security trust fund will become depleted in 2034 Ex-campaign manager: Sanders is still eying another presidential bid DNC chair backing plan to cut superdelegates opposed by Dem lawmakers MORE (I-Vt.).

“Health care should be a right for every single American, not a privilege reserved for the healthy and the wealthy," Merkley said in a statement.

“Right now, our health care system is incredibly complex, fragmented, and stressful. It would be terrific to have a simple, seamless system where, solely by virtue of living in America, you know that you will get the care you need."

Merkley said the country has made "tremendous strides" in expanding access to health care.

"But many Americans still are rightfully frustrated by the cost and complexity of our current system," he said.

"It’s time to simplify health care and lower patients’ costs, and embrace Medicare for All.”

Sanders on Monday thanked Merkley on Twitter for the support.

"Thank you @SenJeffMerkley for joining us in the fight to make Medicare for all a reality," the Vermont senator said.

Other Democratic senators supporting the legislation include Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerMembers of Congress demand new federal gender pay audit The Hill's Morning Report — Can the economy help Republicans buck political history in 2018? Sanders gets best reception at early 2020 audition MORE (N.J.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump to nominate budget official as next consumer bureau chief Sessions floats federal law that would protect states that decriminalize marijuana Bank regulator faces backlash over comments on racism MORE (Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report — Can the economy help Republicans buck political history in 2018? Sanders gets best reception at early 2020 audition Man indicted for threatening Bernie Sanders, March for Our Lives protesters MORE (Calif.).

Sanders put his push for a single-payer health care system at the center of his 2016 presidential bid and has pledged for months to introduce legislation.

--This report was updated at 2:27 p.m.