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 BookerLawmakers gear up for spending bill, infrastructure votes Booker: End of police reform negotiations a 'frustrating experience' Sunday shows - All eyes on spending votes MORE is throwing his support behind a "Medicare for all" bill being introduced by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDo progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Texas House Republican tests positive for coronavirus in latest breakthrough case In defense of share buybacks 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. 

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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 WarrenIn defense of share buybacks Democrats urge Biden to go all in with agenda in limbo In Washington, the road almost never taken MORE (Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisNavarro rips 'dimwit' Trump Jr. on 'The View' for COVID-19 and obesity tweet Do progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Biden, Harris push big lie about Border Patrol MORE (Calif.) are supporting Sanders's legislation.

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies Top Democrat says he'll push to address fossil fuel tax breaks in spending bill Democrats revive filibuster fight over voting rights bill 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 KingState Department spokesperson tests positive for COVID-19 North Dakota Republican latest House breakthrough COVID-19 case Texas House Republican tests positive for coronavirus in latest breakthrough case MORE (Maine), voted against a recent single-payer amendment offered by GOP Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Daines to introduce bill awarding Congressional Gold Medal to troops killed in Afghanistan Powell reappointment to Fed chair backed by Yellen: report 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.