Democrats introduce public option health care bill

Congressional Democrats are introducing legislation to allow states to set up a public option for health-care insurance.

The legislation, spearheaded by Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzCongress should lift the ban on medical cannabis access for military veterans Booker introduces bill banning facial recognition tech in public housing Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M), is the latest idea from Democrats as the party tries to plot its next steps after blocking the GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

"Our objective should be to have a competition of ideas. ... I think it's a golden age in terms of policy ideas when it comes to Democrats and health care," Schatz told reporters.

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He added that "we want to make sure that people understand that we have a vision for the future."

The legislation would let states create a public option by expanding Medicaid eligibility to any individual who wants to buy into the program.

The bill has 17 cosponsors in the Senate, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (I-Vt.), who has offered his own single-payer government health-care plan, and Democratic Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisFive takeaways from the Democratic debate Gabbard, Buttigieg battle over use of military in Mexico Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (Calif.), who have been mentioned as possible 2020 White House candidates.

The Democratic legislation faces little chance of passing in a GOP-controlled Senate. But Democrats have been pitching their own ideas as they head toward the 2018 midterm election and 2020 White House race as progressives demand potential candidates back single-payer health care.

Democratic Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowOvernight Energy: EPA delays board's review of 'secret science' rules | Keystone pipeline spill affecting more land than thought | Dems seek probe into Forest Service grants tied to Alaska logging Democrats ask for investigation of Forest Service grant related to logging in Tongass National Forest Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda MORE (Mich.) spearheaded a bill earlier this year that would allow individuals, age 55 to 64, to buy into Medicare.