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Merkley announces he will co-sponsor 'Medicare-for-all' bill

Merkley announces he will co-sponsor 'Medicare-for-all' bill
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySchumer in bind over fight to overhaul elections Sanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Tensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy MORE (D-Ore.) on Monday announced he would co-sponsor the "Medicare-for-all" bill being introduced by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Sunrise Movement endorses Nina Turner in special election for Ohio House seat The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Israel-Hamas carnage worsens; Dems face SALT dilemma MORE (I-Vt.).

“Health care should be a right for every single American, not a privilege reserved for the healthy and the wealthy," Merkley said in a statement.

“Right now, our health care system is incredibly complex, fragmented, and stressful. It would be terrific to have a simple, seamless system where, solely by virtue of living in America, you know that you will get the care you need."

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Merkley said the country has made "tremendous strides" in expanding access to health care.

"But many Americans still are rightfully frustrated by the cost and complexity of our current system," he said.

"It’s time to simplify health care and lower patients’ costs, and embrace Medicare for All.”

Sanders on Monday thanked Merkley on Twitter for the support.

"Thank you @SenJeffMerkley for joining us in the fight to make Medicare for all a reality," the Vermont senator said.

Other Democratic senators supporting the legislation include Cory BookerCory BookerPolice reform talks hit familiar stumbling block Almost 20 advocacy groups team up to pressure Congress to pass health care bill for immigrants Biden adds pressure to congressional talks with self-imposed deadlines MORE (N.J.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate Helping students make informed decisions on college Student debt cancellation advocates encouraged by Biden, others remain skeptical MORE (Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris, Hispanic Caucus meet on Central America Harris headlining Asian American Democratic PAC's summit Here's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not MORE (Calif.).

Sanders put his push for a single-payer health care system at the center of his 2016 presidential bid and has pledged for months to introduce legislation.

--This report was updated at 2:27 p.m.