Booker: I support Medicare for All, but I'm a 'pragmatist'

Booker: I support Medicare for All, but I'm a 'pragmatist'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (D-N.J.) on Sunday said he supports the progressive "Medicare for All" health care plan, but noted that he is a "pragmatist" who is interested in looking for more "immediate" reforms to the system. 

"I stand by supporting 'Medicare for All' but I’m also that pragmatist," Booker, a 2020 presidential candidate,  told CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperButtigieg says voting for Trump is 'at best' looking the other way on racism White House trade adviser says Chinese tariffs are not hurting US Former acting solicitor general: 'Literally unfathomable' that Trump would retweet conspiracy theory about Epstein death MORE on "State of the Union." "I’m going to find the immediate things that we can do. I’m telling you right now we’re not going to pull health insurance from 150 million Americans that have private insurance, who like their insurance." 

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Tapper pointed out that the "Medicare for All" proposal Booker has signed onto in the Senate, introduced by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump preps conspiracy theory to explain faltering economy Sanders doubles down on 'Medicare For All' defense: 'We have not changed one word' Sanders, Warren back major shift to fight drug overdoses MORE (I-Vt.), would eliminate private insurance.

"It’s going to have to be a pathway to getting there that’s going to start with the commonsense things that can unite Americans," Booker said, pointing out that it would be difficult to get the plan through the Senate. 

"If we’re designing our system, Medicare for All is the right way to go, but I’m also realistic to say ... when I become president, we may have only a 50-50 tie in the Senate," Booker said. "And my vice president, whoever she is, is going to get a lot of exercise going to the Senate, breaking ties." 

"We are going to have to do things that might get me towards my goal of expanding access and lowering costs," Booker said. 

The "Medicare for All" proposal has garnered support from many of presidential candidates in the Senate, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). 

The plan would transform Medicare into a single-payer system that provides health-care coverage, including dental, vision and long-term care, to all Americans under one plan.

Under the proposal, private insurance companies would be banned from selling plans that cover the same services.