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 BookerHarris, Booker call for judgement on Jussie Smollett case to be withheld until investigation is completed Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Jussie Smollett case shows media villainizing Trump and his supporters, without proof — again MORE is throwing his support behind a "Medicare for all" bill being introduced by Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign Capitalism: The known ideal 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 Ann WarrenWarren set to announce plan for universal child care: reports Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign MORE (Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris, Booker call for judgement on Jussie Smollett case to be withheld until investigation is completed Harris calls idea of Trump trusting Putin over US intel ‘height of irresponsibility and shameful’ Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report MORE (Calif.) are supporting Sanders's legislation.

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats The border deal: What made it in, what got left out Lawmakers introduce bill to fund government, prevent shutdown 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 Stanley KingDrama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry Warner, Burr split on committee findings on collusion Overnight Defense: Top general wasn't consulted on Syria withdrawal | Senate passes bill breaking with Trump on Syria | What to watch for in State of the Union | US, South Korea reach deal on troop costs MORE (Maine), voted against a recent single-payer amendment offered by GOP Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesMontana governor visiting Iowa amid talk of possible 2020 bid Will Senate GOP try to pass a budget this year? Overnight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal 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.