Sanders to unveil 'Medicare for all' bill on Wednesday

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

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Dems fear lasting damage from Clinton-Sanders 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 HarrisDems call for action against Cassidy-Graham ObamaCare repeal California Dems offer preview of party's 2020 agenda Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020 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 CassidyTop Louisiana health official rips Cassidy over ObamaCare repeal bill Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Finance to hold hearing on ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTop Louisiana health official rips Cassidy over ObamaCare repeal bill Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions 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.