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 BookerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two Patrick backs reparations in unveiling 'Equity Agenda for Black Americans' Booker ahead of Trump impeachment trial: 'History has its eyes on us' MORE is throwing his support behind a "Medicare for all" bill being introduced by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll Warren calls for Brazil to drop charges against Glenn Greenwald 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 Ann WarrenHarris weighing Biden endorsement: report Biden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll MORE (Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris weighing Biden endorsement: report California Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat Steyer spokesperson: 'I don't think necessarily that Tom has bought anything' MORE (Calif.) are supporting Sanders's legislation.

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyEnvironmentalists, Oregon senators oppose DOT increasing transport of natural gas by rail Senate Democrat says he is concerned intelligence community is 'bending' Soleimani presentations Democrats conflicted over how to limit Trump's war powers 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 KingCollins walks impeachment tightrope The Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two Congress struggles on rules for cyber warfare with Iran MORE (Maine), voted against a recent single-payer amendment offered by GOP Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesLawmakers introduce bill to reform controversial surveillance authorities Koch network could target almost 200 races in 2020, official says GOP senators introduce resolution to change rules, dismiss impeachment without articles 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.