Keith Ellison calls for Dems to support medicare for all

Keith Ellison calls for Dems to support medicare for all
© Greg Nash

Minnesota Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonKavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Trump Jr., Dem congressman spar over Ellison's association with Farrakhan Why did Clinton share the stage with Farrakhan? MORE (D) called on Democrats to support single-payer healthcare, an issue Ellison believes can heal rifts in the party ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

In an interview with Yahoo News on SiriusXM "POTUS" radio channel, Ellison said that the movement around "Medicare-for-all" was slowly ascending in the Democratic Party.

“Our movement is ascending, but the truth is that, for many years, people weren’t there,” the DNC vice chair told Yahoo. “So more and more people are coming on every day, but not everyone is on. We have to convince them, we have to talk to them, we need to engage in a respectful, fact-based debate about which systems are the best.”

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This week, Ellison received unanimous consent from his House colleagues to take over primary sponsorship of former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersConservative activist disrupts campaign event for Muslim candidates Michigan Dems elect state's first all-female statewide ticket for midterms Record numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress MORE Jr.'s (D-MI) single-payer health-care bill, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which Conyers introduced every year since 2003 until his resignation last year.

Former Democratic 2016 candidate and progressive stalwart Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersProtecting democracy requires action from all of us Kavanaugh hires attorney amid sexual assault allegations: report Amazon probes allegations of employees leaking data for bribes: report MORE (I-Vt.), tweeted his support for Ellison this week. Sanders, a longtime supporter of Medicare-for-all, made single-payer healthcare a central focus of his 2016 presidential run. The issue is now supported by a majority of the House Democratic Caucus.

“With [Ellison’s] leadership, I know we will be able to take on the greed of health insurance and pharmaceutical companies and finally guarantee health care to all,” Sanders tweeted.

Last month, the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank closely linked to the Clinton family, released a healthcare proposal called "Medicare Extra For All," which would move the U.S. to a publicly-run healthcare system with the exception of those who chose to remain on private insurance.

The plan, which does not go as far as Ellison or Sanders' proposals, represented a major step towards single-payer healthcare for the group which has in the past called for privately run systems with public options for coverage.