Booker signs on to Sanders's 'Medicare-for-all' bill

Booker signs on to Sanders's 'Medicare-for-all' bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerEnlisting tech to fight coronavirus sparks surveillance fears Democrats urge administration to automatically issue coronavirus checks to more people Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus MORE is throwing his support behind a "Medicare for all" bill being introduced by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSome Sanders top allies have urged him to withdraw from 2020 race: report We're at war and need wartime institutions to keep our economy producing what's necessary Larry David: Bernie Sanders should drop out of 2020 race MORE (I-Vt.), becoming the latest Democrat floated as a 2020 contender to back the legislation. 

The New Jersey senator told NJTV News that he would sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill, which is scheduled to be rolled out on Wednesday. 

"This is something that’s got to happen. ObamaCare was a first step in advancing this country, but I won’t rest until every American has a basic security that comes with having access to affordable health care," Booker told the New Jersey outlet. 

He added that "you should not be punished because you are working-class or poor and be denied health care. I think health care should be a right to all." 

Booker's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about his decision.

Sanders put his push for a single-payer healthcare system at the center of his 2016 presidential bid, and he has pledged for months that he would introduce legislation. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The idea is also gaining traction within the Democratic Party and is emerging as a litmus test for potential 2020 presidential candidates. 

In addition to Booker, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Biden says his administration could help grow 'bench' for Democrats Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisEnlisting tech to fight coronavirus sparks surveillance fears Biden says his administration could help grow 'bench' for Democrats Is Texas learning to love ObamaCare? MORE (Calif.) are supporting Sanders's legislation.

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus MORE (D-Ore.) also announced his support on Monday. 

Booker had previously voiced some support for single-payer. 

Asked on Twitter if he would support the government-run healthcare system, he said "there is great value if not justice In opening up Medicare to all" but Democrats should be focused on stopping the GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. 

Despite growing support from the party's 2020 presidential crowd, Sanders's push for a single-payer system doesn't have unanimous support from the Senate Democratic caucus.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said earlier this year that it should be one of the options on the table.

And four Democrats up for reelection in states won by President Trump, as well as Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus KingWe weren't ready for a pandemic — imagine a crippling cyberattack Senators offer bill to extend tax filing deadline Russia using coronavirus fears to spread misinformation in Western countries MORE (Maine), voted against a recent single-payer amendment offered by GOP Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesHow much damage? The true cost of the Senate's coronavirus relief bill McConnell says T bill is 'emergency relief' and not a 'stimulus' The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden moves to unify party before general election MORE (Mont.).

Daines's amendment, which was expected to fail, was largely viewed as an attempt by Republicans to get Democrats to go on the record on the issue.