Sanders to unveil 'Medicare for all' bill on Wednesday

Sanders to unveil 'Medicare for all' bill on Wednesday
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOcasio-Cortez to campaign with Bernie Sanders in Kansas Sanders: Trump should confront Putin over Mueller probe indictments Booker seizes on Kavanaugh confirmation fight MORE (I-Vt.) will unveil his “Medicare for all” bill on Wednesday, his office announced Friday.

The announcement comes as single-payer health care is gaining as a force within the Democratic Party, and Sanders’s formal announcement will move the issue further into the spotlight.

Sanders made single payer a driving force of his campaign for president last year, and is now keeping up the push.

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The advisory from his office says that Sanders will be joined by Senate co-sponsors, though does not list who they are. He will also be joined by “medical professionals, business leaders, and patients.”

The issue has emerged as a key test for 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisMcConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Booker seizes on Kavanaugh confirmation fight Seeking asylum does not make illegal entry into America legal MORE (D-Calif.), a possible candidate, recently announced that she would back Sanders’s bill.

Other potential Democratic presidential candidates will also face pressure to take a position on the measure.

The announcement comes as some in Congress are trying for a much narrower bill aimed at simply stabilizing ObamaCare markets.

The Senate health committee is in negotiations over a bipartisan bill that would fund key ObamaCare payments to insurers while also possibly granting more flexibility to states to change regulations under the health law. 

Sanders sits on that committee, and used part his time at a hearing on Thursday to call for health care for all.

Separately, a handful of Republicans are not giving up on repeal of ObamaCare, looking to pass a bill from GOP Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyGOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Lawmakers pitch dueling plans for paid family leave New push to break deadlock on paid family leave MORE (La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Health Care: Watchdog finds Tom Price improperly used funds on flights | Ex-Novartis CEO sent drug pricing proposal to Cohen | HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts: report Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs MORE (S.C.) to convert current ObamaCare spending into a block grant to states. That effort faces long odds, though.  

—Updated at 2:44 p.m.