Sanders to unveil 'Medicare for all' bill on Wednesday

Sanders to unveil 'Medicare for all' bill on Wednesday
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSinger Neil Young says that America's presidents haven't done enough address climate change New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide MORE (I-Vt.) will unveil his “Medicare for all” bill on Wednesday, his office announced Friday.

The announcement comes as single-payer health care is gaining as a force within the Democratic Party, and Sanders’s formal announcement will move the issue further into the spotlight.

Sanders made single payer a driving force of his campaign for president last year, and is now keeping up the push.

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The advisory from his office says that Sanders will be joined by Senate co-sponsors, though does not list who they are. He will also be joined by “medical professionals, business leaders, and patients.”

The issue has emerged as a key test for 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisNew poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide Harris gets key union endorsement amid polling plateau MORE (D-Calif.), a possible candidate, recently announced that she would back Sanders’s bill.

Other potential Democratic presidential candidates will also face pressure to take a position on the measure.

The announcement comes as some in Congress are trying for a much narrower bill aimed at simply stabilizing ObamaCare markets.

The Senate health committee is in negotiations over a bipartisan bill that would fund key ObamaCare payments to insurers while also possibly granting more flexibility to states to change regulations under the health law. 

Sanders sits on that committee, and used part his time at a hearing on Thursday to call for health care for all.

Separately, a handful of Republicans are not giving up on repeal of ObamaCare, looking to pass a bill from GOP Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyUN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive Trump faces growing GOP revolt on Syria To win the federal paid family leave debate, allow states to lead the way MORE (La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens MORE (S.C.) to convert current ObamaCare spending into a block grant to states. That effort faces long odds, though.  

—Updated at 2:44 p.m.